Jai Nijjar to celebrate his 16th birthday by racing a Meridian EcoBoost Mygale Formula Ford at Croft17 June, 2014 – EcoBoost Formula Ford will welcome its youngest-ever competitor at the next rounds of the Dunlop MSA British championship when Jai Nijjar joins the grid. Jai turns 16 on Sunday (22 June), and is scheduled to make his car-racing debut with the Meridian team at Croft less than a week later.
Nijjar will race a new Mygale chassis for the Essex team as part of a triple-strength squad alongside Scholarship Class front-runner Connor Mills (pictured above with Nijjar) and Meridian’s other recent signing, 16-year-old Connor Jupp.
Jai has several seasons of karting competition behind him – he was fourth in the 2012 Rotax International Open Junior series and placed third in last year’s Rotax Max European Challenge – but has never raced a single-seater. “Jai has done karting for a few years and has done reasonably well in that, qualifying twice for the world championships,” said his father, Bali Nijjar, “and we felt it was time for a change… It’s really all about getting seat time and gaining experience: we looked at a couple of options and thought that Formula Ford would be a bit harder work for him; it’s a more sophisticated car and will test him a bit more. Jai raced with Connor Mills in the same kart team and that was another consideration. They will work well as a team.”
Jai plans to complete an Association of Racing Drivers Schools licence test in the coming week ahead of a necessarily short Formula Ford test programme before the Croft triple-header.
“We have been keeping a close eye on Jai’s progress in karting,” said Meridian boss Paul Abercrombie, “and we are delighted that he will be joining us for Formula Ford. We are hard at work preparing a completely new chassis for him and I am sure that he will work well with the engineers and his team-mates.”
Nijjar will race within the highly competitive Scholarship class for rookies, which after 12 rounds Mills leads by just four points from Falcon Motorsport’s Ricky Collard. Mills has won the class on four occasions, with Collard and Jamun Racing’s Ashley Sutton each having won it three times.