Leaving Cert Student Juggles Formula Ford Championship with Exams
While most Leaving Certificate students spent the June Bank Holiday studying, James Roe Jr competed in the third round of the British Formula Ford 1600 Championship at Knockhill Racing Circuit in Fife in Scotland.
The 18 year old exam student at Newbridge College in Kildare is one of Ireland’s most exciting young motorsports talents, having first competed in the 2014 Ginetta Junior Ireland Championship, aged 15, where he was a race winner and lap record holder.
One of just three Irish race drivers selected for the Team Ireland 2017 elite programme, James Roe Jr is competing in both the 2017 British Formula Ford 1600 Championship and the Northern Ireland FF1600 series too.
Credited for his flashes of blinding pace, and mooted as ‘one to watch in 2017’ by motorsports aficionados, James Roe Jr has bigger worries than next month’s motor-racing or his exam papers in the coming weeks. So far in 2017, Roe has scored 9 podiums from 15 races- and impressive achievement in such a competitive class.
The young driver, who had podium finishes at Brands Hatch in all three opening rounds of his Formula Ford season in April, is in need of sponsorship support to finish the season. Roe Jr hopes to complete in an incredible 43 races, racing up until early November. But the season cost, his management team conservatively estimate, has not yet been entirely secured and appeals are being made to businesses, motoring, and motorsports interests to support the young Irish talent.
Race entries, testing, tyres, fuel, engines and other components account for the biggest chunk of Roe’s Formula Ford budget, with mechanics, ferry transport and accommodation also needed.
“We secured a number of smaller sponsorships, and family and friends also contribute to keep the show on the road, but serious competition needs serious sponsorship, which we hope we can secure”, the 18 year old racing driver says.
James Roe Jr is the nephew of Michael Roe, one of Ireland’s greatest ever motor racing talents, and the only Irishman to win the Can Am Championship, back in 1984.
Recognised in the Irish Motor Racing Hall of Fame, Michael Roe was a winner of the British Formula Ford Festival and the British Formula Three and European Formula Three Championships, as well as competing in the Le Mans 24hr, Daytona 24hr, the USA Sportscar Championship and Indianapolis 500.
Now a mentor to his racing nephew, Michael Roe is encouraging sponsors to back Roe Jr.
‘James has a natural talent and the mental capacity to succeed. He is a fantastic ambassador for Ireland and for Irish motor-racing and we hope that some of the major racing backers will see his potential as a brand ambassador too and get behind his Formula Ford campaign this season’ Michael Roe says.
Roe Jr has also been endorsed as a leading talent by driver coach Rob Wilson, who worked with the 18 year old and has also coached top motorsports names including Juan Pablo Montoya, Kimi Räikkönen, David Coulthard and Valentino Rossi.
Apart from passing his upcoming Leaving Certificate exams, James Roe Jr’s career target is to race professionally in the USA from 2018 onwards.
Corporates and individuals interested in receiving James Roe Jr’s sponsorship prospectus can contact Leo Nulty Promotions on firstname.lastname@example.org
Images from Bourne Photographic