Fifteen-year-old Tony Kart Racing Team driver switches from karts to cars and picks the EcoBoost experts from JTR to aid his campaign
Reigning Formula Ford champion team JTR has confirmed the identity of its first driver for the new MSA Formula championship. He is 15-year-old karting star James Pull, who is hoping that JTR’s skill and expertise in getting the most from Ford’s EcoBoost power unit will gain him an advantage when the championship gets underway at Brands Hatch in just under three months time.
Born in Singapore to his Malaysian Chinese mother and British father, James came to the UK in 2012 for education – he attends Hertfordshire’s Haileybury College, following in the wheeltracks of Sir Stirling Moss – and to further his motorsport career, which started aged eight in Singapore.
His karting successes include finishing championship runner-up in the Yamaha SL Cup Malaysia and the Asian Karting Open Championship in 2010 and victory in the Rotax Max Singapore series the following season. Since moving to Europe he has raced in cadets with Emilia Kart and then in KF3/KF-Junior with Chiesa Corse and then the Tony Kart Racing Team, always under the guidance of former Kart World Champion Oliver Oakes. In 2014 he was invited to join the McLaren Performance Academy, from which he graduated in December of last year.
James is looking forward to the challenges presented by his switch to cars: “I am really excited to be joining JTR for the 2015 MSA Formula season. JTR drivers have won the British Formula Ford Championship for the past three years, and I am looking forward to working with Nick Tandy and the team. I am going to be working very hard between now and the first race at Brands Hatch in April to make sure that I am as fit and as competitive as possible.”
Team boss Tandy is hopeful of good things to come from his young charge: “James tested with JTR a few times at the end of last year and on the back of that we are delighted he will be joining us in the team. His preparation and commitment to starting his racing career in 2015 meant he was top of our list for winter testing and he didn't disappoint. We have a solid test plan based around his schooling commitments so I’m sure we’ll be ready to go at Brands Hatch.”
To James’s racing manager, Jon Bishop, JTR looks to be the perfect team: “We looked at the team last season and were very impressed with its history working with both the chassis and engine. In addition to this the whole environment was perfect for James. I am confident that JTR will be competitive, and Nick is a talented driver himself and a good guy for James to look up to as he continues in his development.”
MSA Formula – Certified by FIA, Powered by Ford EcoBoost is Britain’s official version of the FIA’s Formula 4 concept and will be the British Touring Car Championship’s single-seater support series, enjoying live TV coverage and bumper raceday spectator attendance. The championship will be decided over 30 races; three at each of the 10 BTCC meetings to be held between April and October.
The winning driver will hold the title FIA Formula 4 Champion of Great Britain, and will earn 10 Grand Prix Superlicence points to get his or her career off to a flying start, in addition to being awarded a career-enhancing test drive with a leading FIA Formula 3 team.