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

Photo: F4 U.S. Championship
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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.

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


STATS PACKAGE FOR ROLEX 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.