Jonny McMullan
Jonny McMullan

When the 2015 motor racing season ended for Jonny McMullan, the reigning BRSCC National Formula Ford 1600 Champion, it looked as if he would be on the sidelines for 2016 but a lifeline has come his way.

The Glengormley driver will return to the championship, intent on retaining his title and claiming the highly sought after ticket to the USA Mazda Road to Indy shootout at the end of the year.

His participation for the season remains provisional for the moment, joining Oldfield Motorsport initially on a round-by-round basis with both sides working tirelessly to secure the budget to remain together for the season.

His 2015 campaign went from strength to strength throughout the year and several dominant performances placed him into a series lead that for the most part was unchallenged, before he was officially crowned as champion with one round to spare at the final weekend in Anglesey.

Adding to his Triple Crown and Irish Formula Ford 1600 series titles, Motorsport Ireland recongised his achievements during the season, awarding him the prestigious International Racing Driver of the Year award, at the Dunlop Motorsport Ireland Champions of Irish Motorsport Awards ceremony last December.

He will be in very familiar territory when he joins the team for the first round of the championship this weekend at Oulton Park. Scoring two wins at the same venue in 2015 in a very similar Van Diemen to the car he will use for this season, he is now in a strong position to hit the ground running.

Meanwhile, the younger brother of double British Touring Car Champion Colin Turkington, James, is to contest a full season of racing on the mainland.

He will compete in the MINI Challenge as part of the MINI UK VIP Customer Team after a successful three seasons racing mainly at Kirkistown, firstly in a Ford Fiesta and then last season at the wheel of a SEAT.