2017 is Sharp Motorsport’s first season in Formula 4
(Photo from: www.www.jakobebrey.com)
Throughout Britain, there are teams with drivers in various categories competing on each and every level of the motorsport ladder, whether it be a club series for keen amateurs or the premier classes in the country.
For this article I am going to look at one of the newest teams to form, who have arrived into Formula 4 this year, competing against some of Motorsport’s heavyweights.
Sharp Motorsport were formed at the beginning of 2017 and currently compete with their sole driver, 15-year-old Jamie Sharp from Rochdale. 2017 is Jamie’s first season in cars, having made the jump from karts in which he enjoyed huge success, winning the 2015 MBKC Junior X30 Club Champion as well as the MBKC Junior X30 Cup and Autumn Series Champion and MBKC Junior X30 Winter Series Champion.
Despite this success in karts, it goes without saying that the jump to cars is a large one. This feat is made even harder as Jamie and Sharp Motorsport are entering the FIA backed British Formula 4, against the likes of Carlin and Arden, teams that have experience and indeed huge success on an international and global scale.
Going into the season, Sharp Motorsport and Jamie’s aims were purely to get a top 10 finish as the season drew to a close, yet this goal was ticked off within the first two rounds of the year. This is a great achievement considering that Jamie has never raced at any of the circuits on the calendar before not to mention the class of field that he is competing against.
After the first four rounds of the season, Jamie finds himself twelfth in the standings with a best result of seventh at Donington Park. Results are also becoming much more consistent for Sharp as he progresses through the season, with a string of top 10 finishes over Thruxton and Oulton Park.
This is made even more impressive due to the fact that Sharp Motorsport are a new team, they have no data on circuits from previous season, something all the other teams would have access to. It takes time to get this important information which can improve lap times considerably so to achieve such results is a testament to Jamie and the entire team. “Special thanks must go to Mark Godwin, team engineer and manager, and Conner Arnold, head mechanic, it wouldn’t be possible without them and the hard work they put in.
However results on the track are not the only aim for Sharp Motorsport. This is because they intend to keep their drivers grounded and included them in the weekend running of the team, taking part in tasks such as cleaning and preparing the car with the other team members, so that their drivers do not let the glamour of the sport affect them.
This is great step by Sharp Motorsport as although all racing is taken seriously, it is sometimes easy to forget that at the end of the day, motorsport is meant to be fun, and the drivers are meant to be having the best time of their lives. It can get to the point that it all becomes too serious, and the fun of racing is sucked from the drivers as they worry about every aspect of their weekend, rather than enjoying the moment.
This is something that is stressed by the team, as they intend to make the team as approachable as possible for both the spectators and fans, so that they can get as close to the action as possible. It has been said many times that motorsport without the fans would be valueless and this is something that Sharp Motorsport stress.
Although Formula 4 is a large stepping stone, and one of the more serious open wheel series’ currently operating in the UK today, it is also has one of the most friendly paddocks, with Jamie making lots of new friends, as all the teams look out for each other, guaranteeing that no one is in a tricky situation. This attitude will only encourage new teams like Sharp Motorsport to enter both now and in the future, it is going to be great to see how they, and Jamie, fair as the season progresses.