Ely based racer Bryony King is set to make her move into single seaters for the 2016 season where she will compete in the Formula Jedi Championship. Bryony’s step up from karting comes after a number of successful years competing at the highest level where she has recorded several victories, including a history making weekend at Kimbolton where she won two finals in two separate events across the weekend. The MSA Academy Athlete has chosen to race in the extremely competitive Formula Jedi Championship which provides a cost-effective alternative to either the MSA Formula Championship or BRDC F4 Series. The Formula Jedi calendar features 14 races over seven meetings during the course of the year with all machines using a controlled motorcycle engine which differentiates them from other single seater cars. King is hoping to gain racing experience throughout the 2016 season as she aims to progress up the single seater ladder.
Liam: How successful has your programme of winter testing been so far and do you have any further test days planned?
Bryony: Winter testing has gone very well, with several test days under my belt in the car before Christmas and I have been out a couple of times this year at Snetterton ahead of the first round in April. I have a couple more tests planned before the first round, these will be at Rockingham and then again at Snetterton.
Liam: Do you plan on competing in some karting events to keep you sharp in between Formula Jedi races?
Bryony: At the moment, I am not planning on any karting races in the near future, as I am focusing mainly on the car racing and look to be out testing in my car between rounds as much as possible. Though, I do still have most of my karting equipment and it may be something I want to do again in the summer as I do enjoy it a lot and see it as good training.
Liam: What’s been the biggest challenge transitioning from karting to single seater cars?
Bryony: I would say the biggest challenge has been the physical side, I think I underestimated it a little. With laps being much longer than in karting, test sessions are much longer so getting tired was something I’ve had to really work on, with an increased training programme. Being able to adjust to a much bigger vehicle than I’ve been used to has also been hard, adapting to be able to throw the car about like I would do in a kart to get it to work better.
Liam: How come you chose to race in Formula Jedi over other single seater championships?
Bryony: Before we decided what championship I would be competing in, I had completed test days in the MSA Formula car as well as a Ginetta G55 GT4. We felt that the Formula Jedi was the most sensible option for us to allow me to learn all the car circuits, and learn all the factors I need for car racing – all under a much more reasonable budget than other car series. The plan is to progress and move on from the Jedi, and hopefully have some more backing from sponsors to allow me to do this.
Liam: Which track are you most looking forward to racing at during the year?
Bryony: Snetterton is my home track so I’m very excited to race there and I really love driving the circuit, but I’m also really looking forward to racing at Silverstone, purely as it is such a prestigious circuit with a lot of history.
Liam: How much has Alice Powell helped you out in recent months and what’s the most important thing you’ve learnt from her?
Bryony: Alice Powell has helped me a considerable amount, as we have taken our good working relationship from the karting team she ran into my car testing. She has been attending all my test days, providing me with excellent knowledge on how to work the car harder and ensuring I know the correct lines and braking points.
Liam: Have you set yourself any targets ahead of the upcoming season?
Bryony: Of course with it being my first year in single seaters, many people haven’t got high expectations for myself, however, I am aiming to be in the top end of the grid, and hopefully regular podiums. Ben Hingeley won the championship in his first year out of karting, so I can too.
Liam: If you are successful in Formula Jedi, which series would you like to compete in next?
Bryony: For 2017, at the moment we are either thinking the MSA Formula or perhaps BRDC F4 if we are to stick with single seaters. Though I am not saying no to ‘tin-tops’ and would like to test in a few of the options for this route, as I see this as a possible route to continue my racing career.
Bryony would like to thank DA Construction and Joinery Ltd for continuous support, and to my parents for this amazing opportunity for me to extend my racing career.
You can keep up to date with Bryony’s progress using the social media links below:
Website – www.bryonyking.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/bryonykingracing
Twitter – www.twitter.com/KingBRacing