Megan Gilkes completes Rodin Carlin F1 Academy line up
GB4 and W Series race winner Megan Gilkes continues her single seater adventure in F1 Academy, as the Canadian driver is Rodin Carlin's third signing in the inaugural season of the all-female championship.
Interest in the new F1 Academy championship, which is aimed to create a new pathway for young female drivers at Formula 4 level up the single-seater ladder, continues to rise as the entry list takes shape week after week. Léna Bühler became the first ever driver to land a seat in the new series managed by Bruno Michel and created by Formula 1, then followed by official announcements for Prema, Carlin, Campos - who became the first team to announce its full driver line up. With already Abbi Pulling and Jessica Edgar in its roster, British outfit Rodin Carlin becomes the second team to announce all its three drivers with the signing of Megan Gilkes. “I’m thrilled to announce that I will be driving this season for Rodin Carlin in the inaugural F1 Academy series", Gilkes said. "I can't wait to take my learnings from racing in GB4 last season into this exciting new international venture backed by Formula One. The opportunity to join a truly world class team with a fantastic winning record across multiple junior formulae is amazing, and I can't wait to get started." Gilkes, 22 from Canada, raced in Canadian Formula 1200, Formula 2000 Championship and SCCA Formula Vee before making her international debut in W Series in 2019. As part of the inaugural season of the all-female series, Gilkes was the youngest entry at the time. In W Series, Gilkes famously won the Assen non-championship race in one of the closest finishes ever, beating Alice Powell at the finish line. She also had part-time appearances in Formula Regional Americas, before returning to Canada as the pandemic hit, competing in F1600 Ontario, where she collected 11 podiums and 2 pole positions to secure second in the standings. Also an engineer, Gilkes had at the same time work experiences at Mercedes F1 Team and, more recently at Aston Martin F1 Team, where she currently holds the position of trackside support engineer for her placement year out of university. While studying in the UK, Gilkes raced in Formula Ford in 2021 and then graduated to the brand-new GB4 Championship. The series employs the older generation Tatuus T014 F4 car, and offered several female drivers the opportunity to shine: Megan Gilkes claimed a victory in the opening round at Snetterton, and added one more win at Donington and a third place at Silverstone to her resumé, finishing sixth in the drivers' championship. While she will have to adapt to the new Tatuus T-421, Megan Gilkes has shown enough speed to progress to the new F1 Academy championship - and she will rely on the expertise of British team Rodin Carlin, which therefore confirms its third driver for the inaugural season. “I want to thank Rodin Carlin and my sponsors for making this possible, and I will be proudly carrying the Maple Leaf to recognize the support I’ve received from Canada", Gilkes continued. "Between now and the first event, whenI’m not engineering at work with Aston Martin F1, I will be doing everything I can to make this coming season my most successful so far.” Having just joined forces with New Zealand's supercar manufacturer Rodin, Carlin has a spectacular record in junior feeder series. From British F3, FIA F3, F2, IndyLights - Carlin has supported countless young drivers to the upper levels of international motor racing. Since joining British F4 in 2014, Carlin has won 5 team's championship titles - including in 2022, when the series switched to the Tatuus T421 car, which will be used in F1 Academy. “Megan is a fantastic signing to the team", said Rodin Carlin Team Principal, Stephanie Carlin. "She is a proven racer on track with race wins to her name and also brings an off-track element that I think will really help the team from a set-up and engineering perspective." "She is a true professional and together with Abbi and Jess we have a great combination of strengths and talent within the team that really creates the full package.” The format of the new F1 Academy will grant increased track-time to the drivers, with a 7-event calendar featuring triple headers, as well as at least 15 official test days. Collective testing is expected to get underway on April 11-12 at Circuit de Catalunya.