‘BRDC F4 could be­come Bri­tish F3’

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

Bri­tish For­mula 3 could make a shock re­turn this sea­son – in the form of the BRDC For­mula 4 Cham­pi­onship.

Ac­cord­ing to Mo­tor­sport News’ sources, the idea was dis­cussed at the FIA World Mo­tor Sport Coun­cil in Geneva last Fri­day and it could be pushed through dur­ing the next week – just in time for the open­ing round at Snet­ter­ton on March 27/28.

The new Cos­worth-pow­ered Tatuus chas­sis used in BRDC F4 are sig­nif­i­cantly faster than their pre­de­ces­sors, with early test­ing in­di­cat­ing that they are not far off F3 pace. Mean­while, an up­grad­ing to F3 sta­tus could also mean se­ries boss Jonathan Palmer re­lin­quish­ing his own­er­ship of the F4 trade­mark in the UK to MSA For­mula, which runs to FIA F4 reg­u­la­tions.

While Palmer said he was un­able to com­ment on the story, team bosses gave the thumbs up to the move, which would mean F3 re­turn­ing to the UK as a sin­gle-seater ‘lad­der’ class af­ter an ab­sence of one year.

Fortec Mo­tor­sport, Dou­ble R Rac­ing and Car­lin, which all sup­ported Bri­tish F3 up to its demise at the end of 2014, have all en­tered BRDC F4 for the first time in ’16.

Fortec boss Richard Dut­ton said: “The new BRDC F4 car is ev­ery­thing we ever wanted for Bri­tish F3 – it’s a great lit­tle car and it’s in­ex­pen­sive.”

Dut­ton said that he played a part in get­ting the FIA and Palmer to dis­cuss the move. “It made per­fect sense to me,” he said. “I spoke to the FIA about it at the Ma­cau Grand Prix, and then I was chat­ting to them at the Au­tosport Awards when Palmer walked past, so I grabbed him and said, ‘Why don’t you have a se­ri­ous con­ver­sa­tion?’ I think they did that a cou­ple of weeks later. If I’ve done some­thing good at long last, then so be it!”

Dou­ble R chief An­thony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt added: “It would be very good for Bri­tish rac­ing and for the MSA to get a bit of clar­ity be­tween the two se­ries [BRDC F4 and MSA For­mula], be­cause they’re aimed at very dif­fer­ent lev­els of com­pe­ti­tion.

“Hav­ing two F4 se­ries in the same coun­try doesn’t help any­body, but there is room for both and, for the Palmer car, hav­ing the ti­tle of F3 wouldn’t em­bar­rass it. It’s a se­ri­ously quick car, so it’s not fair to tar it with the F4 brush. Palmer had a great vi­sion with the car, and I think it’s ended up be­ing even bet­ter than he an­tic­i­pated.

“We need to keep Euro­pean F3 as the pin­na­cle, while this is a good middle ground from F4. It just seems funny that the FIA des­per­ately tried to kill off re­gional F3, and now in quite a short time frame they’re try­ing to get it go­ing again!”

It is un­der­stood that bud­gets for the new BRDC F4 are sim­i­lar to MSA For­mula, and roughly one third those of Euro­pean F3.

MARCH 9 2016

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