Nathanael Hodgkiss will switch to single seaters in 2020 after agreeing a part-season deal to race with JHR Developments in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost.
The 16-year old from Newport, Shropshire joins Steven Hunter’s title-contending outfit after a part-season in Ginetta Juniors in 2019, as well as a two-year stint in the BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship in which he claimed two race victories and a further three podium finishes.
He will make his debut in Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series at the Donington Park season opener and contest at least the opening three events of the year, before working the remainder around his studies.
Hodgkiss – who races under the Scottish saltire – will partner James Hedley and Abbi Pulling at the Derbyshire team; Mikkel Grundtvig is unfortunately unable to race as planned this season.
“It is an incredibly exciting prospect to be part of the F4 British Championship and I cannot wait to get started with JHR Developments, who have been very welcoming and positive,” said Hodgkiss. “I’m glad to be in their hands as this is such a big step up from anything I have done before, and I feel the reception from the team has helped massively in this process.
“I want to be in the upper part of the grid this year,” he continues. “I think it is possible with the positive feedback from the tests and the team, and that will be my aspiration for this season. Getting used to slicks and the amount of power the car has, coupled with the prominent downforce aspects of the car has been a steep learning curve, but I feel I’m getting more comfortable with every test, which is an encouraging feeling.
“JHR’s simulator has been very helpful in helping me get up to speed with the car and, coupled with the expert coaching provided, has been a major confidence booster and made me really feel at home within the team. Everyone there functions incredibly well together, and it has been great getting to know all the team members.
“Overall, I can’t wait to start the season. It is such a prestigious and exciting series in motorsport, the welcome from the team has been incredible, and with juggling schoolwork and racing they have been very accommodating while still maintaining a professional and focused atmosphere.”
JHR Developments’ Team Principal Steven Hunter was delighted to welcome Hodgkiss to the fold, and believes his talent and attitude will carry him far in the season ahead.
“We are really happy to welcome Nathanael to the team and work with him across the 2020 season,” said Hunter. “He is a talented and positive young man who has been working hard to adapt to single seaters both at test days and in our simulator. The F4 British Championship is a real proving ground for the best young racers not only in the UK but from around the world, so Nathanael’s desire to apply himself to get the best out of himself and the car has been a real positive. We can’t wait to get on track at Donington Park in just over a week.”
Once again in 2020, the F4 British Championship will play a starring role as the sole single seater support category on the UK’s premier motorsport package: the British Touring Car Championship.
The move will put Hodgkiss on the biggest stage in Britain at this level, with trackside crowds and live, free-to-air television coverage on ITV4.
The delayed 2020 campaign kicks off on 01-02 August at Donington Park, Leicestershire.