Jack Butel the first of the SWB Motorsport team’s signings for new championshipPlans to get his first taste of Ford EcoBoost power in January
The SWB Motorsport team’s first signing for MSA Formula, Jerseyman Jack Butel, is targeting steady progress towards a top-five slot in Britain’s accredited FIA Formula 4 championship. The 18-year-old plans to be out testing his Ford EcoBoost-powered machine in January, well ahead of the Brands Hatch opening rounds of the UK’s newest and most exciting junior single-seater series.
Butel has a season’s experience of club-level Formula Renault racing behind him, and hopes to build on the knowledge he has gained: “I finished eighth out of 17, so I feel I did all right for my first year and was starting to get the hang of things by the end of the season. With 32 cars on the grid, MSA Formula is going to be a whole lot more competitive; I hope that I will be able to go as well as I have this year and be up there with the top pack. I’d be very happy to make the top five, and that’s what I am aiming for.”
Jack was first in the queue to get his name in the order book when the wraps came off the new MSA Formula car at Silverstone in September: “I had the opportunity to try the car for size and found it really comfortable… I can’t wait to get out on track in it.”
SWB boss Simon Baldry says Jack had a “good innings” in 2014: “He learned a lot of the circuits, and came on in leaps and bounds. He hadn’t done a great deal of high-level karting before he came to us, and during the year he went from being a bit off the pace of the frontrunners to being a lot closer. He learned an awful lot and did a sterling job, which hopefully will continue into this year and he’ll be right up there.”
Baldry hopes next month to firm up a deal with a driver for SWB’s second MSA Formula chassis. “We are talking to a number of people and will know more by the time of the Autosport show,” he adds.
Butel’s car, which is backed by Jersey’s largest motor factor, Express Autoparts, will be on show at Autosport International (8-11 Jan), on the HRX Racewear stand. Further sponsorship comes from Comma, First Line, Manbat, Vibe and Thule.
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 12 teams who will contest it are Arden Motorsport, Carlin, Double R Racing, Falcon Motorsport, Fortec Motorsport, JHR Developments, JTR, MBM Motorsport, Richardson Racing, Scorpio Motorsport, SWB Motorsport and Team Pyro.
The championship will be decided over 30 races; three at each of the 10 BTCC meetings to be held between April and October.