Colin Queen has been named as the winner of GB4’s National Formula Ford Shoot-Out, following the assessment day at Snetterton earlier this week.
The 17-year-old Californian wins a £20,000 sum towards a seat in the 2023 GB4 Championship partnered by the BRDC, and was confirmed as the winner during a presentation at Brands Hatch this evening (Friday), ahead of the upcoming Formula Ford Festival at the circuit.
Queen was amongst the top-three teenagers in this year’s running of the BRSCC’s Avon Tyres National Formula Ford Championship, taking the runner-up spot in the overall standings courtesy of three wins and nine additional podiums.
Alongside fellow teenage contenders Lucas Romanek and Brandon McCaughan, the American took part in the GB4 assessments at Snetterton on Tuesday (18 October), where each driver was given use of an individual car designated to them by Fortec Motorsport, who ran Nikolas Taylor to the inaugural GB4 title this year.
The contenders enjoyed significant track time at the wheel of their Tatuus F4-T014 GB4 car at the Norfolk circuit, with the day culminating in new tyre runs to judge raw speed. As a demonstration of each driver’s ability, the three finalists were able to post lap times that would have put them comfortably in the middle of the grid for the season-opening event at the same circuit in April.
The assessment day followed simulator sessions at Fortec’s Daventry headquarters earlier this month. Fortec used evaluations from those simulator runs alongside the data from the on-track tests to determine each driver’s ability, with Queen selected once the information had been presented to GB4 Championship organisers MotorSport Vision (MSV).
Shoot-out winner Queen said: “This is a truly memorable experience, and the £20,000 prize will help us in so many ways towards next season. I was so excited for everything, how the shoot-out was put together and the opportunity that all three of us had. The car was amazing, really fun to drive and I’m glad that I impressed everyone enough to win this. It’s truly great.
“Next year I definitely wanted to do slicks and wings over here in Europe and in England, and GB4 was right up there on my list as number one really. And now having this secures it a bit more, even though we were really planning on doing this, the prize helps us even more.
“I’d like to thank my friends and family, they’ve supported me from day one when I was seven years old in a kart back in California. If I was to tell my seven year old self that I would be here today, I’d have been star-struck, so I’m grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had along the way. Andy [Low] with Ammonite has been so supportive over the past two years, they’ve been the perfect team to be with. I’d also like to thank Richard and Ollie Dutton at Fortec, Jonathan Palmer and the BRSCC for putting this all together, it’s just incredible. To end the season on this type of high is just amazing.”
MSV Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer said: “Having reviewed the data from the assessments, it’s clear we were dealing with three very impressive talents at Snetterton, however, Colin just seemed to have the edge with his overall performance. He certainly has the potential to be a front-runner in GB4 next season.
“While we congratulate Colin, we must also recognise the achievements of Lucas and Brandon, who have excelled this year in Formula Ford and ran Colin very close in the assessments. They have also proven that they would be very strong competitors in GB4, and further demonstrate that the standard of young drivers in the National Formula Ford Championship is very high.”
Fortec Motorsport’s Richard Dutton said: “It was a very close contest at Snetterton, but ultimately we felt that Colin had the upper hand with consistency and speed. He also made significant improvements from the simulator runs to the actual on-track running, and gave excellent feedback to us and our engineers. Based on his performances, we believe Colin would be a very strong contender in GB4 next season, and we would certainly be interested in pursuing future options with him.”
BRSCC Chairman Peter Daly said: “The three drivers showed a great level of maturity and professionalism, and I would expect all of them to progress through motorsport. Their season in FF1600 has shown that the BRSCC National Formula Ford championship is an excellent training ground for car control and handling. The competition was very close, with Colin just standing out on the day. My thanks go to Jonathan Palmer and MSV for providing this opportunity and to Richard Dutton of Fortec for delivering the service on the day.”
For more championship information, visit www.gb-4.net