BAHRAINI RACER ALI AL KHALIFA SIGNS WITH HILLSPEED TO JOIN BRDC BRITISH F3 FOR FINAL FIVE EVENTS OF SEASON
Middle Eastern racer Ali Al Khalifa will debut in the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship with Hillspeed during the fourth event of the season at Oulton Park, which takes place over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend at the end of May, after today finalising a deal with the Hathersage team.
Fresh from competing in the popular Italian Formula 4 Championship over the last couple of years, the 20-year-old from the Kingdom of Bahrain is now preparing to climb the next rung on the ladder with a move into the ultra-competitive BRDC British F3 series.
Al Khalifa’s motorsport career began in karting just four short years ago and after two seasons he made the step-up into car racing in Italian F4 in 2014 – the inaugural season of the category. There, the Bahraini finished second in the Italian F4 Trophy class and he then returned in 2015 to contest the opening six races of the championship, taking a best finish of 14th position overall.
“I am very happy to be competing in BRDC British F3 with Hillspeed, it’s a good championship with a great car and is very competitive”, said Al Khalifa, “Hillspeed is a good team, with a lot of experience, and I am looking forward to working with them and to racing in the UK for the first time.”
His arrival in British F3 brings the flag of the Kingdom of Bahrain back to the championship for the first time since 2011 when compatriot Menasheh Idafar raced in the category’s previous era. Idafar, who became the National Class Champion in British F3 in 2010, spent his formative car racing career with Hillspeed in the ranks of Formula Renault.
Team principal Richard Ollerenshaw is thrilled to have secured Al Khalifa’s signature to complete a deal for the final five events of the 2016 season, which will see the Middle Eastern driver race at Oulton Park, Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit, Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, Snetterton 300 Circuit and Donington Park Grand Prix Circuit.
“We are absolutely elated to have signed Ali to the team, the deal didn’t quite come together in time for the Rockingham weekend but he’ll be on track at Oulton Park at the end of May where he hopes to make a good impression”, said Ollerenshaw, “This is the perfect step-up from a championship like Italian F4, offering more power, much improved aerodynamics and, of course, a lot of competition.
“Hillspeed has a strong tradition of developing and nurturing overseas drivers, and particularly those from the Middle East such as Ahmad Al Harthy and Menasheh Idafar, and we’re certain Ali will be a popular addition to the series and will follow in their wheeltracks as a successful competitor.”