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Downham driver steps up his BRDC British F3 preparations

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Oliver Clarke is ramping up his preparations for his maiden campaign in BRDC British F3 with the race-winning Hillspeed team.

The Downham-based driver, 17, has been working hard behind the scenes in readiness for the eagerly-anticipated curtain-raiser next month.

Clarke, who faced the press at the official media day at Snetterton on Tuesday, said: “I’ve had test days in the car at a selection of tracks in preparation.

Jakob Ebrey (30763089)
Jakob Ebrey (30763089)

“I’ve also been working hard on the physical side of driving the F3 car since the autumn.

“I train at AW Performance in London and we cover all the demands that driving this car puts on the body, particularly the G force on the neck, neck strength is vital.”

The 2020 championship roars into life on April 11/13, with Oulton Park playing host to the opening three races of the campaign, and the teenager is relishing the test ahead.

Oliver Clarke – Hillspeed BRDC F3 (30763085)
Oliver Clarke – Hillspeed BRDC F3 (30763085)

“I am really embracing the new challenge and also racing in the UK again, this time in cars not karts,” admitted the former Iceni Academy, in Methwold, pupil.

“The championship rounds ahead are full of different challenges and I am particularly looking forward to Silverstone as it is our UK Grand Prix track, then over to Spa for the same reason and of course my first race at Snetterton, my home track.”

Clarke, who enjoyed a very successful karting career before heading across the Atlantic to America to race in the USA F4 Championship, is determined not to be just making up the numbers.

Oliver Clarke – Hillspeed BRDC F3 (30763082)
Oliver Clarke – Hillspeed BRDC F3 (30763082)

“My aim is to try to win. No sports person wants to do anything else,” he said.

“I want to be on the podium and making my mark and challenge on the points table in my F3 rookie year.

“I want to take this year as it comes, it’s a tough sport and one that requires sponsor support to enable me to progress.

“This year we hope will cement my foundations in a positive direction and get me noticed amongst my peers and the racing community.

“I think I’m a very focused driver, quick to react to on track issues and any changes in the car or track condition. I just have that desire for speed and to be the best.”

Oliver Clarke (30763069)
Oliver Clarke (30763069)

Clarke agreed a deal to race with Hillspeed last autumn and, talking about his new team, he said: “Hillspeed comes with a great history in the sport, indeed this year is their 50th anniversary.

“We are getting to know each other well and have settled in to great communication and we all have that desire to be at the front.

“The driver is one part of the equation, it’s just as important that everyone in the team garage is on the same page and can give ideas, solutions, and always be learning and itching to be moving forward.

“The car has had some changes to its spec this year and I am feeling comfortable with them, it’s now about improving and learning every time I drive.”

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