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Rahul Raj MayerRace-winning BRDC Formula 4 Championship team Hillspeed is delighted to confirm its first driver signing for the 2014 season having today, Monday, 28th October, agreed a deal for Malaysia’s Rahul Raj Mayer to remain with the squad for a second season in the category.

Kuala Lumpur 17-year-old Mayer made good progress during his maiden campaign on UK soil this year in Formula 4, achieving three top 12 finishes and ending the season 17th overall in the driver standings out of 28 competitors.

Prior to arriving in BRDC Formula 4 at the beginning of the inaugural season this year, Mayer enjoyed good success in the Middle East-based Formula Gulf 1000 Championship where he raced to no fewer than eight podium finishes from 12 race starts, including two victories.

Before electing to pursue a career in single-seaters, the Malaysian competed in a variety of karting categories across the Far East and Asia. He also dabbled in open category saloon cars where, in 2011, he was Vice-Champion in the Malaysian Super Series Classic Car Challenge with several podiums.

“It’s fantastic news Rahul is remaining a Hillspeed driver for 2014 and we’re all looking forward now to embarking on a strong winter testing programme”, said team principal Richard Ollerenshaw, “It’s always great to keep continuity with young drivers, the aim is to obviously build on everything Rahul learnt this season and help him become a top 10 regular in the championship next season.

“He produced some excellent performances this year, as part of a very strong grid of talent, so we’ve got high hopes for 2014. With knowledge of all of the main UK circuits, and a year’s experience of the F4 car and the Yokohama tyres, we’re sure Rahul will be a strong competitor next season.”

Mayer’s father, Rajinder, added: “We were very happy with Rahul’s progress in the first season of Formula 4. Hillspeed has given him the full support and training required in very short spans of time during race weekends, as Rahul travels from Kuala Lumpur to the UK for every race. Although testing time has also been limited for that reason, the team’s dedication and experience has given Rahul a good start in 2013. We are convinced Hillspeed will continue to deliver in 2014.”

Off the back of championship glory in Protyre Formula Renault, the Formula Renault UK Winter Series and Ginetta Junior Championship in recent years, Hillspeed arrived in Formula 4 at the start of the year determined to maintain its reputation as a winning force.

The Hathersage team did precisely that by taking Seb Morris to the Vice-Champion’s position, with the Welshman accruing one race win and nine other podiums over the course of 2013, while Struan Moore also visited the top step of the podium once and took three further rostrums on his way to ninth place in the championship.

With Mayer confirmed for 2014, Hillspeed is now keen to fill its two other seats for the second season of BRDC Formula 4 Championship action and is also welcoming enquiries from drivers with regard to the upcoming Winter Series which begins on 9th/10th November at Snetterton in Norfolk and concludes over the weekend 23rd/24th November at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Seb Morris with Mark Webber - F4 PodiumHillspeed made a remarkable start to the season-opening BRDC Formula 4 Championship event at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit over the weekend, 27th/28th April, with teenage ace Seb Morris racing to a hat-trick of podiums to take the lead in the driver standings.

On a week which started with the Hathersage squad counting the cost of a road accident involving its race transporter, following a serious tyre blow out, the team showed incredible spirit to bounce back in the best possible style – with Morris achieving one third place and two runner-up spots.

Jersey driver Struan Moore, embarking on his first full season in single-seaters, raced to highly competitive seventh and eighth place finishes in the opening two rounds but unfortunate contact from a rival in race three meant he ended the weekend 10th in the championship.

Malaysia’s Rahul Raj Mayer, competing on UK soil for the first time in his short career, rounded out the event in 16th position in the points table. Posting a series of solid finishes, Mayer was 14th in round one, 18th in round two after an excursion and 15th in the last race despite front wing damage.

“What a weekend!”, said principal Richard Ollerenshaw, “There has been a lot of hard work to get here, especially after the trials and tribulations of how the week started for us, and all three drivers have performed fantastically for us – especially with a very limited amount of testing.

“The team pulled together so well after the unfortunate incident on the way to the Media Day at Snetterton last Tuesday, everyone showed true character and spirit and we’ve come away with some exceptional results.”

Welshman Morris produced a superb drive from seventh on the grid to finish on the podium in the first ever BRDC Formula 4 Championship race on Saturday, with Moore only just missing out on the top six and Mayer coming through the order well from 17th on the grid into 14th position at the flag.

Moore and Morris each made good getaways at the start, taking fourth and fifth respectively, while Mayer put together a sensational opening lap to rocket into 13th place on his competitive UK debut. Morris usurped Moore for fourth on lap two and on lap six he benefited from contact between the two leaders at Luffield to snatch third place.

Moore, meanwhile, held on to fifth position well until the last few corners of the race when he was bundled back to seventh following an attack from Charlie Robertson – which also allowed Jack Barlow through. Mayer ran strongly in 13th until lap six, when he slipped behind James Greenway, but 14th place marked a strong run for the 16-year-old.

In round two on Sunday morning, Moore – from second on the grid – jumped pole-sitter Diego Menchaca at the beginning to edge into the lead on the run to Copse but at the exit of the turn he was pushed back to third with Morris moving up to second after a sensational start from sixth.

At the start of lap two, Morris ran in second with Moore fourth and Mayer holding onto 14th and just a lap later Morris made his bid for the lead with a fantastic move at Village. Moore, meanwhile, was elbowed back to fifth and Mayer dropped to 17th position.

Morris punched in some fastest laps to try and extend his lead but on the penultimate lap, exiting the fast, sweeping Maggotts and Becketts turns, he was edged back to second where he stayed to the finish. Moore found himself shuffled back to eighth before the finish with Mayer having to settle for 18th following his lap three moment.

For the final race of the weekend, round three, Morris again led the way for Hillspeed by moving up from third on the grid into second at Maggotts and he remained in the runner-up spot throughout to conclude the first ever weekend of BRDC Formula 4 racing as the championship leader. He also set the fastest lap of the race into the bargain and was presented with his trophy by FIA Formula One World Championship star Mark Webber.

Both Moore and Mayer suffered from contact in the concluding race, the former collected by a rival while dicing at the tail of the top 10 on lap two and forced to retire to the pits. Mayer, who had climbed as high as 12th place halfway through, unfortunately sustained front wing damage and had to settle for 15th position at the chequered flag.

“Unfortunately we picked up a bit of damage in race three with Struan and Rahul’s cars, Struan was just a victim of another driver trying a move which wasn’t on the cards while Rahul was unlucky to pick up front wing damage which spoiled an otherwise excellent drive for him”, added Ollerenshaw.

“All in all it’s been an exceptional weekend, for Seb to be leading the championship is just the start we wanted to make. Rahul and Struan have both done superbly well, Rahul had only had one day in the car before coming to Silverstone and Struan only had a day and a half. In fact, Seb only had a couple of days so we’ve probably got the three drivers who had the least amount of testing.”

Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent will host the second event of the BRDC Formula 4 Championship season on 18th/19th May. Before then, Hillspeed’s Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup and Ginetta Junior squads will be racing at Thruxton in Hampshire next weekend, 4th/5th May, and its Protyre Formula Renault Championship team will be in action on 11th/12th May at Snetterton 200 Circuit in Norfolk.

Provisional 2013 BRDC Formula 4 Championship Standings (after Rd3):
1st Seb Morris, 70pts; 10th Struan Moore, 27pts; 16th Rahul Raj Mayer, 16pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Leading national motor racing squad Hillspeed has been unable to attend the official BRDC Formula 4 Championship test at Snetterton 300 Circuit today, Tuesday, 23rd April, after the team transporter was involved in a road accident en-route to the Norfolk track yesterday evening.

While traveling along the A17 from the team’s base in Hathersage, Derbyshire, the vehicle suffered a major tyre blow-out and although the truck sustained serious damage, driver Morgan Ollerenshaw – father of team principal Richard – thankfully emerged unscathed.

Understandably preventing the outfit from running its three Formula 4 cars at Snetterton today, racers Seb Morris and Struan Moore are sitting out the test. Malaysian rookie Rahul Raj Mayer, meanwhile, is running with the Chris Dittmann Racing team in order to get his first mileage in an MSV F4-013 ahead of this coming weekend’s season-opening race meeting at Silverstone.

“It’s very frustrating we’re not able to run Seb, Struan and Rahul today but I must say how very grateful we are to Chris Dittmann and everyone at CDR for agreeing to give Rahul some mileage in one of their cars”, said Richard Ollerenshaw.

“We’ll obviously be fully prepared for the pre-race test at Silverstone this Friday and we’re looking forward to being back on track then. I’d also like to express our sincere gratitude to Lincolnshire Police and their recovery team for such a thoroughly professional job in retrieving the transporter from the roadside.”

Rounds one, two and three of the inaugural BRDC Formula 4 Championship will take place this weekend, 27th/28th April, at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in Northamptonshire.

Formula Gulf 1000Nick Canal has been crowned 2012/13 Formula Gulf 1000 Champion after taking two safe finishes in Rounds 13 & 14 of this extremely competitive single seater series. But it was Malaysian drivers Rahul Mayer and Weiron Tan who took the top step of the podium in rounds 13 & 14 respectively.

Running in parallel to the official Championship was a second competition, the GulfSport Trophy. This was also decided in the very last race when Natasha Seatter picked up yet another 2nd place finish which gave her a 2 point lead over Rahul Mayer to pick up the prestigious GulfSport Trophy.

Round 13 was notable for the poor start that Caterham F1 Academy driver Wei Ron Tan made which left him a huge amount of work to do after spinning at the first turn after contact with Saeed Bintouq. The race was won by Mayer, followed by Seatter and Tan.

Round 14 saw Wei Ron Tan get the holeshot from the second row to go on to win the race from Seatter who got past pole man Mayer to take second place. Rahul Mayer finished 3rd.

At the awards ceremony it was announced that Natasha Seatter has been offered a professional drive in the Asia Porsche Carrera Cup series, Wei Ron Tan is moving up to Formula Renault in the UK, and Rahul Mayer is about to start in the BRDC Formula 4 Championship. A fourth Formula Gulf 1000 driver is expected to announce a significant move in the next week when the sponsorship deal is finalized.

As a professionally run driver development series this is a great achievement for GulfSport Racing who run the FG1000 series and provides a strong inventive for new drivers looking to take up single seater racing in the UAE. GulfSport Racing’s team principal said “We are extremely grateful to the parents and sponsors for supporting these very talented young drivers. I have no doubt we will see them making successful racing careers and its been a pleasure to help them on their way. We now look forward to training the next batch of the region’s best racers.”

Rahul Raj MayerMalaysian 16-year-old Rahul Raj Mayer is the latest driver to join Hillspeed’s ranks after today, Tuesday, 19th March, agreeing terms with the Hathersage team to compete alongside British racer Struan Moore in the inaugural BRDC Formula 4 Championship.

Rahul, who originates from Kuala Lumpur, arrives in UK motorsport off the back of a strong season in the 2012/2013 Formula Gulf 1000 Championship in the Middle East, where he secured a maiden race victory in January and has accrued a total of eight podiums from just 12 race starts.

Prior to his graduation into single-seaters, only late last year, the teenager also enjoyed success in saloon cars with a win and several podiums in the Malaysian Super Series Asia Classic Car Challenge at the wheel of a 292hp Toyota Starlet – concluding the campaign second in the championship.

Before that, during his formative karting career, Rahul was a front-running force in the Asian Open KF3 Championship, the Asian Open KF2 Championship, Rotax Max Challenge and Yamaha SL Cup.

Rahul said: “I am indeed very happy to be given an opportunity to race in BRDC Formula 4 by my parents, the races are run on some of the most popular race tracks in the UK and this will, no doubt, give me good exposure and allow me to hone my skills further.

“During the season I am going to work hard on my way to the top and hopefully pick up some sponsors on the way as well. I hope to maintain my previous records of being consistent in all my races instead of just the one fast lap. I look forward to working closely with Hillspeed, who I am sure will be able to support me in achieving my goals.”

Widely regarded as one of the most successful teams in national single-seater racing, Hillspeed is aiming to hit the ground running in the first season for the new BRDC Formula 4 Championship and gain a strong foothold to ultimately try and emulate the success the squad has achieved elsewhere.

Having won numerous titles in ARP Formula 3 [now named the MSV F3 Cup], the Protyre Formula Renault Championship, Formula Renault UK Winter Series and the Ginetta Junior Championship, the outfit is delighted to have already signed two highly competitive racers for its maiden F4 campaign.

“Rahul has clearly shown a huge amount of promise so far in his young career and while the BRDC Formula 4 Championship will be a big step-up in terms of competitiveness, I’m confident he has the ability and pace to quickly become one of the main front-runners along with Struan [Moore]”, said team principal Richard Ollerenshaw.

“We’re very much looking forward to working closely with Rahul throughout the year. He’s certainly proven himself to be a very capable driver in Formula Gulf 1000, against much more experienced opposition, and I’m sure he’ll continue to develop his skills strongly with the support he’ll receive from everyone at Hillspeed.”

Northamptonshire’s Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit will host the opening three rounds of the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 Championship on 27th/28th April. Officially timed pre-season testing will be held at Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk on Tuesday, 23rd April.