Talented American driver joins championship team after strong performances in Canada and New Zealand

London, England and St. Louis, Missouri USA (Friday, March 15, 2019) – Cliff Dempsey Racing is poised to continue its long-standing heritage in preparing tomorrow’s racing superstars with a full lineup of impressive drivers for the BRSCC Avon Tyres National FF1600 Championship and the team is pleased to announce its final driver, young American racing standout Spike Kohlbecker of St. Louis, Missouri USA.


On track at Teretonga Race Track in Invercargill, New Zealand.


Cliff Dempsey commented, “We are delighted to have Spike join our team for the 2019 season. He comes with a lot of FF1600 experience and no doubt his recent racing in New Zealand will serve him well. We are excited to have completed this partnership and now we can’t wait to get going. This is going to be a very completive field this year and we’re anxious to see Spike in the mix.”


Celebrating a double podium weekend. Post race interviews in "Kiwi"! 

Kohlbecker continues his 2019 campaign after joining the Motorsport Solutions New Zealand team in a partial season for the New Zealand National FF1600 Championship. Kohlbecker quickly adapted to completely new surroundings with limited track time as is evidenced by his double podium efforts in his first two race weekends. Kohlbecker, age 16, comes off a wildly successful campaign in the 2018 Canadian F1600 Toyo Tires Championship where he finished on the podium in both the Ontario series and the Ontario/Quebec Super Series. “Coming out of my successful rookie Canadian F1600 season as the youngest driver in the field I wanted to really challenge myself in the next step of my racing career and that’s why I went to New Zealand,” Kohlbecker added. “The New Zealand experience will no doubt serve me well as I now focus my attention on what will be a very competitive series in the UK,” Kohlbecker went on to say.


Spike saying one final thanks to his team owner, John Crawford, after the final race at Pukekohe Park Raceway in Pukekohe, New Zealand. After an exciting and successful trip Down Under Spike closed out the season with one more podium finish.


Spike with one of his Motorsport Solutions New Zealand teammates, Zac Stichbury, son of the legendary Kiwi driver Ashley Stichbury.


Kohlbecker will relocate to the UK later this month. “Deciding what to do after New Zealand was not easy for me, not until the partnership with Cliff Dempsey came together. I was fortunate enough to have several offers in various series, but I like the idea of finishing my racing foundation with a full season of FF1600 in a very competitive series. If you look at the drivers and teams that are set for this series it’s going to be tough but I’m not looking for anything easy, I want to be challenged,” added Kohlbecker.

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Cliff Dempsey Racing is a multiple Championship winning team which was set up 29  years ago by ex driver Cliff Dempsey, who raced Minis, GT’s and Formula Ford 1600.  In 2010 Cliff Dempsey relocated his race team from Ireland to the United Kingdom – the home of motorsport and has been very successful in Formula Ford 1600.

For the past ten years, Cliff Dempsey Racing has been very privileged to be the team selected for Jeremy Shaw’s Team USA Scholarship Programme where drivers such as Josef Newgarden, Conor Daly, Connor De Phillippe and Tristan Nunez have had successful wins at the Brands Hatch Formula Ford Festival and the Walter Hayes Trophy. We are also very proud to have been chosen by Brian Graham to run his  Team Canada Scholarship programme for the past eight years.