National News

James Clarke stays on at Cliff Dempsey for first full National campaign

Cliff Dempsy Racing has announced that James Clarke will remain with the team for the 2019 Avon Tyres BRSCC National Formula Ford 1600 season, his first full season in the category.

The former Clubmans Cup driver raced twice for CDR last season, recording a podium finish on his first outing at Croft after cutting short a partial Scottish FF1600 campaign in an MCK Mygale.

A further outing at the Walter Hayes Trophy in November failed to yield a strong result, but team owner Cliff Dempsey was quick to snap up Clarke for a full campaign.

“We tested [James] at the end of 2017 at Rockingham and he impressed us with his speed but unfortunately we didn’t get to put a deal together. We are looking forward to getting going.”

Irishman Jonathan Browne will also remain with CDR for this season, who scored a best finish of 10th en route to 16th in the standings during his first full-time campaign last year.

“We are absolutely delighted to have Jonathan back,” added Dempsey. “He did great last year for his first year in cars, the highlight was him finishing 12th in his first Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch in October.”

CDR ran a three car effort last season, with Browne and Austrian Nico Gruber the only full-time entries. Jamie Thorburn and Neil Maclennan each did partial campaigns alongside Clarke.

Thorburn is returning to National FF1600 with a family-run team but won’t complete a full-season campaign this year due to university commitments.

Gruber recently signed for German Formula 4 outfit Mucke Motorsport ahead of a maiden season in the slicks-and-wings series this year.

Maclennan, who was National runner-up with CDR in 2017, raced a part-season campaign with the team in 2018 but will spearhead Kevin Mills Racing’s title assault this year.

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