Richardson Racing can today confirm that it has agreed a deal with rising star Luke Browning for the 2017 Simpson Race Products Ginetta Junior Championship.
The Corby-based team will compete in the highly competitive one-make series – open to racers aged between 14 and 17 – for the first time this season as part of an expanded race programme, which also includes entries into British F4 and the Ginetta GT5 Challenge.
Luke joins the team on the back of an impressive 2016 campaign, where he moved into car racing with an entry into the Junior Saloon Car Championship.
The 15-year-old from Cheshire secured an impressive four podium finishes over the course of the season, including a breakthrough victory at Brands Hatch, to finish inside the championship top ten – with his performances on track leading to him being named as Downforce Radio’s ‘Teen Racer of the Year’.
Confirmation of Luke’s deal to join Richardson Racing comes on the back of a strong showing during a recent test session at Rockingham, where he mastered challenging weather conditions to impress the team with his on-track performance.
Further testing is now planned before Luke’s Ginetta Junior Championship campaign gets underway at Brands Hatch on the first weekend of April.
“I have to say a massive thank you to Richardson Racing for having faith in me and for giving me this fantastic opportunity,” he said, “and I also have to say a special thank you to all my family, friend and sponsors as without them, none of this would be happening. Now I just can’t wait for the season to start at Brands Hatch.”
Luke’s move into the Ginetta series comes with continued support of management company Integra Sports Partners, with principal director Ivor Bourne confident that the young star was ready to embrace the new challenge.
“As a manager, you always believe you have the next World Champion amongst your athletes,” he said, “and Luke certainly displays all the attributes necessary to go on to great things. The recognition of that talent, and being given this opportunity by Richardson Racing, only endorses those feelings.
“We all know there is a lot of hard work ahead, but you have to first believe you are capable of great things, before you go on to do great things. We are in a great team, we have amazing support, and Luke has the belief and talent. The story is just beginning.”
With the deal with Luke now confirmed, team principal Gwyn Richardson admitted his delight at securing the services of a driver who looks set to challenge towards the sharp end of the field.
“We are delighted to welcome Luke onboard for 2017 and are pleased to confirm him as our first junior driver,” he said. “He is clearly a very talented driver as he showed on track last season, and also with his performance in testing at Rockingham where the conditions he faced were far from ideal.
“He is a very easy-going youngster who immediately got on well with the team, and we are confident that he will prove to be a competitive driver on what looks set to be another close Ginetta Junior grid this season.”