Andy Richardson has announced that he is to take on a fresh challenge for the 2013 season after securing an eleventh-hour entry into the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain.
The Grantham-based 21-year-old will make the move into single-seater competition for the first time with the Richardson Racing team, which will also be embarking on its first season running an open-wheel machine.
Andy and the team are due to take delivery of the Ford EcoBoost-powered Mygale chassis that he will race in 2013 at Brands Hatch, ready for the opening rounds of the new season at the circuit this weekend; where Formula Ford joins the support package for the British Touring Car Championship.
Due to the late nature of the deal, the two test sessions due to be held at the Kent circuit on Friday will mark the first opportunity that Andy has had to get behind the wheel of his new car, while it will also be the first chance that the team has had to work with the Mygale.
Three races of 20 minutes in length will then take place over the course of the weekend, with race one due to take place at 14.45 on Saturday 30 March, and the remaining two races being run on Sunday 31 March at 11.00 and 17.45.
When the opportunity arose to enter Formula Ford, it was too good to turn down and this is a great way for me to try my hand at single-seaters, Andy said. We have been working hard to make the deal happen for some time, and have to thank Ford, Mygale and ATL for their support in putting it all together.
Andys only previous experience of the new Formula Ford 200 machine came in a brief run behind the wheel at Silverstone during a sampler day held late last year. As a result, he is realistic in his targets for the weekend ahead as he embarks on a new phase in his career.
There is no doubt that this is the biggest challenge that the team has faced, he said. We are going straight into the first race meeting of the season with no testing and with a car we will have just collected, so we are going to be learning all weekend.
As a racing driver, I only go on track to win, but I have to be realistic this weekend given how late everything has come together and the main target has to be three solid races so I can make the most of our time on track and learn as much as possible about the car.
While I enjoyed my time racing in Ginettas in both the Challenge and then the Supercup, I have always had a desire to race in single-seaters and now the opportunity has come along, I cant wait to get started.