The first-ever GB4 Championship is about to get underway at Snetterton this weekend, ahead of a busy season in support of the British GT Championship and another headline round at Silverstone. Here is our GB4 guide to the 2022 season.
By Richard Smyth
The series is a step lower than the GB3 Championship but will operate closely with the series to help keep costs low and opportunities high for the talented grid this season.
The 2022 GB4 Championship will consist of nine events between April and October, with three races taking place at each event.
There will be a 15-minute qualifying session to start each weekend, with the first race later in the evening. The grid for this race will be set using the driver’s fastest time from qualifying.
The following day of action will see two further races take place. Race two will have its grid set using the driver’s second-fastest time from qualifying. Race three will be a complete reverse grid using the qualifying results.
All drivers must be over the age of 15 to compete and hold a Race Club license, with the winner receiving GBP 50,000 towards their next single-seater campaign.
For the opening two rounds of the season, points are scored from 35 for a win down to one for a 20th place finish.
In the reverse grid race, points are scored from 20 for a win and one for a 15th place finish. The series also includes a bonus point system for every overtake in the reverse grid.
Mercedes Formula One driver George Russell is backing the series by putting his name to the ‘George Russell Pole Position Cup’. The fastest driver from qualifying will receive GBP 125 and a trophy, with the driver with the most poles at the end of the season winning an extra GBP 1000.
The teams will also be able to win some money here, with the Jack Cavill Pole Position Cup earning them an extra GBP 1000.
While the series is seen as a steppingstone towards the GB3 Championship, it’s also a next step for drivers in the National Formula Ford Championship. The top three in the 2022 Formula Ford Championship will be invited to a shootout for a GBP 20,000 prize towards a seat in the 2023 GB4 Championship.
Teams and drivers
Elias Adestam – #8
The 15-year-old Swedish driver was the first overseas driver announced for the new series. He made his karting debut in 2014 at the age of eight, before making his single-seater debut in 2020. Last year saw Adestam focus solely on his Formula Nordic campaign, where he finished third overall.
Jessica Edgar – #17
The 16-year-old British driver competed in the LGM Series, where she finished fourth overall, while also competing in the British Kart Championship.
Edgar represented the UK in the FIA Motorsport Games in 2019, and in 2020 she was chosen as a member of the Motorsport UK Academy. She was also enlisted in the FIA’s Girls on Track Rising Stars programme.
She is the tenth member of her family to establish a career in motorsport, with her cousin Jonny currently racing in the FIA Formula 3 Championship.
Nikolas Taylor – #66
The 16-year-old from Kuala Lumpur joins the GB4 Championship after competing in an F4 testing programme in 2020 and 2021.
His motorsport career began back in 2017 when he took up karting. He claimed multiple wins and podiums across two seasons in Kart Racing Development series at the Shah Alam Kart Circuit.
Graham Brunton Racing
Logan Hannah – #9
The 20-year-old Scottish driver became the first driver announced for the new series after a successful career so far in Formula Ford.
She graduated from karting to single-seater racing in 2018 and the following year she finished fourth in the Scottish Formula Ford Championship.
She has also raced in the UAE F4 Championship in 2018 and 2019, which included being on the support bill for the 2019 Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix.
Chloe Grant – #10
The 15-year-old Scottish driver completes an all-female team in the GB4 Championship this season.
She started karting aged seven and will make her single-seater debut this season.
Last year she won the Junior Saloon Car Scholarship in 2021, allowing her to enter car racing, but she is following the ambition she had to step up to single-seater racing.
Kevin Mills Racing
Tom Mills – #21
The 16-year-old will race for his family-run team as they make the step up to the GB4 Championship from Formula Ford.
He had to miss the Formula Ford season opener last year as he wasn’t yet old enough to compete, but five podium finishes in addition to the season-ending victory at Snetterton helped him to finish fourth in the championship.
Jarrod Waberski – #20
The 16-year-old from South Africa joins the series after two seasons competing in his national Formula 1600 Championship.
He finished as runner-up and was the only driver outside the eventual Champion to take a race victory during the season.
Waberski is also a South African karting Champion, winning the series in 2018 and will be competing outside his home country for the first time when he takes to the track at Snetterton at the start of the season.
Alex Walker – #41
The 18-year-old is another driver making the step up from Formula Ford, where he finished second in last year’s championship.
Walker is a BRDC Rising Star and has had success on the national, European and World stages in karting.
He won eight Formula Ford races last season and with 14 overall podiums, he narrowly missed out on winning the title.
Jack Sherwood – #78
Moving up to the GB4 Championship from Ginetta Juniors, the 15-year-old embarks on his first single-seater campaign.
Last season saw Sherwood claim four eighth places finishes as he ended the season in 15th place on his debut season out of karts.
Kevin Mills racing still has to name its second driver, while Arden Motorsport, Hillspeed, JHR Developments, Oldfield Motorsport, Richardson Racing and Rossoverde Racing are still yet to name their line-ups.
Christian Lester – #7
The 23-year-old is making a return to single-seater racing after a three-year absence.
Lester has previously taken part in the British F4 Championship and the Australian F4 Championship. The latter supported the Australian Grand Prix in 2019, and Lester finished as the second-highest rookie with the F1 paddock watching on.
His single-seater debut came back in 2018 at Silverstone and claimed two strong finishes that weekend.
Megan Gilkes – #64
Megan Gilkes will drive for Hillspeed in the opening round of the season at Snetterton after an announcement at the eleventh hour.
Her brother Niklas will compete in the GB3 Championship this season, but Megan has had success of her own. In 2019, she became the youngest race winner in the W Series during the non-championship race in the Netherlands.
Last season she raced in the Formula Ford Championship, ending the year 10th in the standings.
Max Marzorati – #81
Max Marzorti is a familiar name to GB3 Championship followers, but for the opening round of the GB4 season at Snetterton, he is making the step down the feeder series ladder.
He managed to finish on the GB3 podium last season on his way to 20th place finish in the standings.
In 2017, he competed in the Renault UK Clio Cup Junior category, before making the step up to Formula Ford the following year. In 2020, he moved to the then BRDC British Formula Three Championship which became GB3 mid-way through the 2021 season.
Snetterton 300: 2nd – 3rd April
Oulton Park International: 15th – 18th April
Silverstone GP: 7th – 8th May
Donington Park G: 28th – 29th May
Snetterton 300: 25th – 26th June
Silverstone GP: 30th – 31st July
Brands Hatch GP: 10th – 11th September
Donington Park GP: 15th – 16th October
The 2022 GB4 Championship will be broadcast live on Youtube, free of charge, via the series’ channel.
As this is a brand new championship, it’s difficult to predict who is the favourite for the title.
This series is so much more than just a championship however: it’s a stepping stone between karting and the strong GB3 Championship and allows more drivers the opportunity to prove their worth with lower costs to enter.
The drivers from the Formula Ford Championship will be the ones to keep an eye on this season. Their experience of single-seater racing should give them an early advantage. However, it will be everyone’s first time on slicks and racing with wings, which is a little different to Formula Ford.
Header photo credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography
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