Carlin have confirmed Dougie Bolger will graduate to their F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost team for 2021 following the successful completion of a thorough testing programme with the team.
The 16-year-old began karting back home in Nagano, Japan, progressing through the ranks before emulating his racing heroes and moving to the United Kingdom to further his ambition of becoming Japan’s first Formula 1 World Champion. His efforts caught the eye of McLaren Racing, who selected Bolger as a member of the McLaren DNA Programme in early 2018.
Bolger then went on to score multiple podium finishes across the British, LGM and Japanese karting champions in the next two seasons, before stepping up to test F4 machinery with Trevor Carlin’s outfit. An extensive testing programme throughout 2020 enabled Bolger to make the most of a COVID-hit season, ensuring he heads into his single seater debut in Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series ready to challenge from the off.
“It’s amazing to finally confirm the news,” said Bolger. “I’m so excited to be with Carlin, especially with all the history and success they have as a team. I feel honoured to become a part of that story. I have tested at a few tracks already with the team, but I’m looking forward to getting into it properly and visiting some new circuits like Croft and Knockhill. The UK has so many great and interesting circuits. Driving in F4 is something I couldn’t imagine a few years ago, but in testing I felt very comfortable. I will be pushing every day with the team, Kokoro Performance and Formula to Perform at be at the front at Thruxton.”
Team Principal Trevor Carlin expressed his delight at Bolger’s graduation to British F4 with the team and is looking forward to monitoring his progress in the season ahead. “I’m delighted that Dougie will continue with the team, having completed a test programme with us in 2020,” said Carlin. “Dougie is just at the start of his career but is quickly learning and improving behind the wheel of the F4 car. Learning the ins and outs of race weekends will be the next challenge, but Dougie has a great team around him and the right attitude to be able to handle these challenges. I’m really looking forward to seeing him grow as a driver when the season kicks off in May.”
Bolger joins the previously announced Roman Bilinski and Kai Askey at the Farnham-based team, with the completion of their 2021 line-up set to be announced in due course.