Samuel Oram-Jones is to race in the 2016 BRSCC Quaife Fiesta Championship having secured a drive with Dan Woodrow's 23 Racing.

The 18-year-old, who has spent the last couple of years concentrating on his studies after a long spell in karts - including twice winning the Lewis Hamilton 'true grit' award while competing in Formula Kart Stars (FKS), will now make his race debut next weekend in the opening round at Snetterton (April 2-3).

Ahead of that he has taken part in three tests, running at Brands Hatch, Snetterton and last week at Rockingham, as he looks to gain mileage with his Performance Ford Magazine-branded front-wheel drive Class C 2.0 litre Fiesta ST, and get acquainted with some of the circuits that make up the 16-round series.

"It is great and really exciting to be back racing," said the Milton Keynes-based youngster. "I think the time I have had off has allowed me to mature as a driver and as an individual, but it is brilliant to be able to finally get back out onto the track and put that maturity into performance.

"The test last week was very good. We were very quick and got into the car and were doing times that would have put us at the front of last year's grid. My manager was scratching his head a bit and thinking we must be doing something weird because we shouldn't be going that quick off the bat, but we were just very fast and I am very much looking forward to the start of the new season now."

"It will be my first time competing in a front-wheel drive car and it is very different to anything I have driven before, but luckily for me, I think a racing driver is a racing driver and a good racing driver can drive whatever he is put in. It did take some time to adapt initially - especially given you are going to have a lot more understeer and a lot less oversteer, that is what you would have been use to, for example, in a single-seater and in a kart, but it is nothing I can't handle."

"We will be looking to come back out and show I can be here for the long run and that I am in motorsport to stay and deserve to be on the grid. The aim for the season in terms of performance is definitely to finish towards the front of the grid and in the top ten. I think it is a must-do this season," added The Webber Independence School* pupil, who continues to be backed by E&S Consultants Ltd.

Meanwhile, 23 Racing founder and boss, Dan Woodrow added that while 2016 will be a learning year for Sammy, he is confident the youngster can do well.

"Sammy is joining 23 Racing as a development driver for Class C. He is coming to develop the Fiesta ST with us while he gets use to front-wheel drive. It's a two-year plan," Dan explained. "This year to find our feet, and year two to try and push on and win it - we believe Sammy has the talent to do this.

"We have run Fiestas before - in Class A and extensive testing in Class C with the ST. We had our best year to date last year while competing in the top level BRDC F4 Championship which co-supported the British GT Championship. Along with the team's partnership with the highly regarded Performance Ford magazine, this is the magazine to read to keep bang up to date with the team and Sammy's progress.

"I want Sammy to be in and around the top-ten and pushing on the door of the top lads as the year progresses and think that is a realistic aim. There are some quick guys out there that have been in the Fiestas for quite a few years and they know the car inside out, but with the new diff it has changed a lot of things with the car. I think we can do well together and last week we made really good progress during testing at Rockingham."

 

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