Matthew Higgins and Kai Hunter, front-runners in the Ultimate Karting Championship, got behind the wheel of GB4 machinery at Bedford Autodrome today (Thursday), in a specially organised test day held by the Scorpio Motorsport squad.
Senior Rotax champion Hunter was behind the wheel of a single-seater for the first time, while Higgins, son of rally ace David, was the winner of the end of year Rotax National Trophy, having previously sampled F4-level competition in the USA.
Both drivers enjoyed three sessions of track time on the West Circuit layout, allowing each contender to get up to speed with the Tatuus F4-T014 machine, and both making significant improvements in lap times as the day progressed.
Hunter said: “I’m very inexperienced at this level so I think getting the laps in has really helped out. The first session was a bit average but I think in the second session I surprised myself really.
“There’s a lot more power in a GB4 car compared to karting, and a lot more weight as well so it’s just totally different. Obviously you can bring a few things across from karting but most of the stuff you need to learn again.
“I’ve really enjoyed today, it’s been a great experience and I’d love to do it again.”
Higgins said: “It went really well, the car feels a lot better to drive than the cars I’ve driven in America! It was nice to get used to and it felt much more drivable.
“It would be great to be able to race in this series next year, it all depends on budget. It’s been a really, really good day and I learned a lot from all the coaching as well.”
The Scorpio Motorsport team has operated the car driven by Christian Lester in the GB4 Championship across the past two seasons, and Team Principal Jon Pettit enjoyed the opportunity to put two potential stars of the future in his car again, having also run a similar day last year.
“It’s been a fantastic day today, the weather held up beautifully for this time of year and we got plenty of laps in today. The progression was fantastic, both drivers were quick, there’s different levels of experience obviously, so balancing that out and understanding where they were both at was key. But both did a fantastic job, really good.
“We’re pushing the karting angle very hard, there’s a lot of interest developing in GB4 and we’re aiming to help the drivers that want to make the step into single-seaters.
“Both drivers today proved that you can step into GB4 from karting and be quick, both did really good solid times around here. Their transition from karting into this was excellent and it says a lot about the car that they can jump into it and adapt so quickly.”