The Richardson Racing team will expand to two cars for the second meeting of the new MSA Formula season this weekend at Donington Park, after agreeing terms on a deal with single-seater rookie Ollie Pidgley.
The 17-year-old from Salisbury will join forces with Louise Richardson as he makes his debut in the BTCC support series, with the Donington weekend marking his first foray into the world of single-seater competition.
After a successful career in karting, the MSA Academy member moved into car racing for the first time last year; taking numerous class victories en-route to an impressive top six championship finish in the Michelin Clio Cup Race Series.
While this weekend will mark his single-seater race debut, Ollie has previously tested in Formula Ford, Formula Renault and MSA Formula machinery, with his last on-track outing coming during testing at Thruxton earlier this year.
As such, his main aim this weekend as he joins the Grantham-based team will be to maximise the track time available as he embarks on the latest stage of his racing career.
“I’m massively excited about this weekend and it’s all worked out well as Donington is a circuit that I enjoy,” Ollie said. "It’s great that I’ve been able to agree a deal with Richardson Racing and I’m looking forward to getting on track and getting down to business. I’m at a bit of a disadvantage compared to the others as I’ve missed the opening rounds, so I need to make the most of the time on track and really get a feel for the car.
"It’s not realistic to think I’ll fighting for the title after missing a round, so my early aim is to bring home three finishes this weekend, and try and push into the midfield. It’s also going to be important to use this weekend to build my relationship with the team and with my engineer so we can work together to make forward progress.
“The early indications from talking with the team is that we are singing from the same hymn sheet when it comes to set-up, so hopefully that means we are already heading in the right direction and can hit the ground running when we get to Donington Park. I can’t wait!”
Team-mate Louise will be seeking to build on an encouraging weekend at Brands Hatch when she hits the track for her second outing in the all-new Ford EcoBoost-powered MSA Formula machine.
Louise produced a stunning qualifying performance in the season opener two weeks ago, where she took sixth on the grid despite only sampling her car for the first time in Friday testing. Having taken a best result of twelfth at Brands Hatch, Louise will now seek to push forwards towards the top ten when race day arrives in the East Midlands this weekend.
The 22-year-old will also seek to benefit from running with a team-mate for the first time this season and said she felt the pair would push each other forwards on track.
“I’m really pleased that Ollie has decided to join Richardson Racing,” she said. "It’ll be great to have a quick team-mate to work with and hopefully we’ll both be able to perform well this weekend.
“Personally, I want to build on what we were able to learn at Brands Hatch and try to improve my pace. I’ve not been to Donington in quite a few years, but I’ve always loved the circuit so I’m really excited to race there again and see what we can do.”