Written by Ishani Aziz, edited by Apostolos Papageorgiou
GB4 racing driver Nikolas Taylor is proving to be one of the promising young stars of the championship. The 16-year old Malaysian-British driver made his racing debut at Snetterton in April of 2022, with Fortec Motorsport, and has already made a name for himself in the category.
Born in Kuala Lumpur, Taylor began his motorsport journey simply karting for leisure in Malaysia. The rental karting then led to a proper karting career in 2017 when he joined the Kart Racing Development Series at the Shah Alam Kart Circuit. His karting days were quite successful, with multiple wins and podiums across his two seasons.
2018 was a new chapter for the young driver, when his family moved to the UK from Kuala Lumpur. He joined the YRDA (Young Racing Driver Academy) as Steve Hutchinson’s student, and began testing F3 and F4 in the simulator on a regular basis, once or twice per month under Hutchinson’s instruction, by 2019. This set him up nicely for his first on track testing experience in 2020 with the British F4 programme, which he continued into 2021. Hutchinson has praised Taylor for his mastery, saying; “He showed great car control on very slippery tracks, taking his simulator tuition and implementing straight into the car itself”.
Clearly an adept driver, Taylor got his first chance at real single-seater racing in GB4 earlier this year. He feels he owes much to the championship, saying: “If it wasn’t for GB4, I’d probably just be testing this year rather than racing. The budget here is quite low compared to all the other series so it’s great for a driver like me”. Taylor began racing for Fortec Motorsport, using the Tatuus F4-014 car, under the driver number 66. By the end of testing in Donington Park, he was already the fastest recorded driver in both wet and dry conditions.
Taylor has strung together an impressive record of pole positions and race wins since his debut at Snetterton (see figure below). His debut weekend in April went incredibly well, securing pole in his first ever qualifying. His time would let him lead the field in Race 1, which he would go on to win. His second fastest qualifying time also got him a first place start in Race 2. Despite not winning the latter, he managed to set the fastest lap. He was less fortunate in the third race, receiving a penalty for an out of position start. Overall however, Taylor’s debut marked the beginning of a promising GB4 career.
Success followed at Oulton Park, where he managed a decent second place in the starting grid for Races 1 and 2. In the first race, start line issues meant he had to make do with finishing in sixth place. The following race he was just shy of his former rival Alex Walker’s pace, finishing third in the end. In the final race, Jarrod Waberski would get his first victory in GB4, while Taylor battled it out with Jack Sherwood and Walker. Ultimately he made decent progress from 9th to 5th, earning him an ample 15 points.
Silverstone was another success for Taylor, securing pole for Race 2 and going on to win like he did in the first race. Unfortunately he retired early from the third race after a collision with Waberski. Taylor then went on to score another pole for Race 1 at Donington Park in May, which allowed him to win his fourth race. He then stormed to a double pole at Snetterton this June, which earned him his fifth victory in Race 1. The second and third races were less successful, particularly Race 2, where Taylor and Tom Mills, who races for Kevin Mills Racing, had a collision.
Taylor’s success has earned him the famed George Russell Pole Position Cup several times. This is awarded to the driver that secures a pole position in each of the races in the calendar and with it comes a prize of £125. Before Walker’s exit from GB4, both drivers had accumulated an equal £375 thanks to their pole positions. As of now, Taylor is clear of Walker and has racked up poles at Silverstone, Donington Park and twice at Snetterton, amounting to a total of five. Jessica Edgar has the second highest number of poles, with two to his name. If Taylor continues his winning streak and obtains pole positions at the remaining three race weekends, he could well be given the Cup for the most pole positions and the ultimate £1000 prize.