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.