Home Formula 4British F4 Xcel Motorsport names first British F4 driver, Virtuosi adds to its line-up

Xcel Motorsport names first British F4 driver, Virtuosi adds to its line-up

by Ida Wood

Photo: British F4

British Formula 4 newcomer Xcel Motorsport has announced its first driver signing, while Virtuosi Racing has added a third name to its line-up for 2024.

The United Arab Emirates-based Xcel team was created in 2013 as ‘Energy Dubai’ and competed solely in in karting until 2016 when it expanded into single-seaters as the F4 UAE championship was created.

It took three wins in 2017, four in 2018, then the year after rebranded to Xcel. It won both titles in 2019, and its drivers were victorious in 12 races. The success continued, with 11 wins and another title double in 2020, then another 11 victories and the teams’ title in ’21.

When F4 UAE switched to a second-generation car in 2022 it attracted European teams seeking to learn it, and Xcel only picked up four podiums and a pole position. Three podiums followed in 2023, and there were none this season.

At the start of this year Xcel also expanded into Formula Regional Middle East, where it had a best finish of seventh. In March the team then announced its British F4 entry, and has now named Zack Scoular as its first signing.

The 16-year-old Emirati was a frontrunner in his home country’s junior karting scene, and was 35th in the 2023 Rotax Max Euro Trophy for Rotax Senior karts.

He progressed into car racing at the end of last year, joining Xcel’s rival Yas Heat Academy for the F4 UAE Trophy. He finished 12th in both races, then in his full F4 UAE campaign with the team this year had a best finish of fifth as he came 17th in the standings.

“A new team and a new championship for me, so we’ve had a lot to learn,” Scoular said of his British F4 move. “It should be pretty good, lets see what we can do.”

The driver joining Yuhao Fu and Martin Molnar at Virtuosi for the upcoming season is 18-year-old Maxwell Dodds.

Highlights of the Briton’s karting career include coming sixth in the WSK Open Cup, seventh in the WSK Euro Series, ninth in the WSK Super Master Series and 20th in the South Garda Winter Cup for OK Junior karts.

He made his car racing debut in entry-level sportscar series Ginetta Junior in 2021, and came 13th in the standings. Since then his racing career has been on pause.

“We’re excited to have Maxwell Dodds on board with us this year,” said Virtuosi’s F4 team boss Mark Salmon.

“The deal happened very late, so obviously we’re on the back foot with testing, but he has a great attitude, great mentality, and is working hard, so I can’t see why we can’t achieve great results this year, together.”