Leading single seater outfit Chris Dittmann Racing is set to make its debut in the F4 British Championship with the news that talented young racer Joel Pearson will be joining the team in the series.
Teenager Joel is a podium finisher in the Ginetta Junior Championship and was set to make his F4 debut in 2021 before tests revealed he has Pelvic Osteoblastic Osteosarcoma, a rare form of cancer, bringing a halt to his plans while he received chemotherapy.
Climbing back behind the wheel of a previous-generation Mygale F4 car earlier this year, Joel felt fit and ready to return to competition, leading to a successful test with Chris Dittmann Racing at Snetterton in March.
Both Joel and the team will have a short timeframe to get up to speed ahead of the opening rounds of the season, held at Donington Park in just over two weeks’ time, before tackling some of the UK’s toughest circuits over the next seven months before a new champion is crowned.
2022 F4 British Championship calendar
Rounds 1, 2, 3: Donington Park (National) – 23/24 April
Rounds 4, 5, 6: Brands Hatch (Indy) – 14/15 May
Rounds 7, 8, 9: Thruxton – 28/29 May
Rounds 10, 11, 12: Oulton Park (Island) – 11/12 Jun
Rounds 13, 14, 15: Croft – 25/26 Jun
Rounds 16, 17, 18: Knockhill – 30/31 Jul
Rounds 19, 20, 21: Snetterton – 13/14 Aug
Rounds 22, 23, 24: Thruxton – 27/28 Aug
Rounds 25, 26, 27: Silverstone (National) – 24/25 Sep
Rounds 28, 29, 30: Brands Hatch (Grand Prix) – 8/9 Oct
“It was a very last-minute deal to sign with Chris Dittmann Racing actually, because we’ve only done one day in the car and the season’s quickly approaching! I’m feeling ready for it though. I’ve had over a year out of racing, so I have been getting back into it again, getting the mindset, and getting everything ready for this year.
“It has been a very tough year of my life, but it’s put me in a different mindset this year than I’ve ever had before. You’ve got the sensible mindset where you get back in the car and enjoy it, but you’ve also got the racing driver goals of going out there to do your best. Every racing driver wants to go out there and win, so I’ll be going out there to get podiums and wins.
“It was good to be back in a racing car. It was more than just getting into it, it was also about feeling comfortable and when I felt comfortable, then it was about pushing, finding myself, and getting used to everything.”
Chris Dittmann, Team Owner
“We’ve been keeping a close eye on Joel over the years, and he did very well in Ginetta. He had his illness last year, which is a real shame, but I’m so glad to see him get better. We know he’s been pushing hard to get back into F4 and we got a phone call from Mike at Argenti, with whom Joel was linked with last year.
“It’s been quite a late discussion, but we managed to put the deal together for him for the year which we’re really excited about. He’s had one test with us already, which went really well, so it’s just a case of getting up to speed with the team and everything and seeing what he can do.
“Joel’s got a huge amount of potential and we’re very much focused on driver development at CDR. We’re going to be pushing hard throughout the year to help him improve and, hopefully, all being well into next year in GB3.”