The F4 U.S. Championship gets added to U.S. Grand Prix weekend

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The F4 U.S. Championship has seen significant growth in car count this year – grids have been at or just over 30 cars of the Onroak Automotive Crawford F4-16s with Honda power from a Civic Type-R – but has not really had a marquee event with which to showcase that grid to a bigger audience.

Joining the U.S. Grand Prix weekend in October, however, is massive news for the SCCA Pro Racing-sanctioned burgeoning championship, and gives the series a spotlight it otherwise doesn’t have this year.

This will be F4’s second bow at Circuit of The Americas in as many months later this year. They’ll be on the FIA World Endurance Championship weekend in September about a month before, with this event now on the F1 weekend becoming the new season finale.

On the F1 weekend, F4 will have one practice, one qualifying session and two races which will be held in between F1 practice and qualifying sessions.

“The addition of the F4 U.S. Championship to the USA Grand Prix weekend signifies our place as one of the primary destinations for young drivers who have karting or other racing experience and wish to refine those skills, both on- and off-track,” said SCCA Pro Racing Vice President Steve Oseth.

“This series is only in its second season, and has seen significant growth as we are expecting 35 cars at our finale. We are thankful that Formula One Management Limited has afforded us the opportunity to bring our series and announce our second champion at the F1 event.”

Art St. Cyr, President, Honda Performance Development, added: “Last year’s successful inaugural F4 U.S. Championship season demonstrated the need for a competitive and affordable open-wheel development series. Honda and HPD are pleased to participate in the amazing growth in the 2017 season, and joining the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix at COTA shows the growing prestige of the F4 Championship.”

“This a huge accomplishment for SCCA Pro to get the final race of the F4 U.S. Championship race at the USA Grand Prix,” General Manager of Onroak Automotive North America Max Crawford said. “The FIA has promoted F4 as a stepping stone to Formula 1, and this is a great opportunity for the F4 drivers to race in front of the F1 teams.”

The move also makes sense given the Pirelli tire connection; both F1 and F4 run on Pirelli tires.

“As the successful sole supplier of tires to both the F1 Championship and F4 U.S. Championship, Pirelli is glad to see current and future motorsports champions join together at this event,” said Rafael Navarro, Pirelli Tire North America Vice President of Communications and Media Relations.

Team USA Scholarship recipient Kyle Kirkwood swept the series’ most recent race event at Indianapolis this past weekend.

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.