STEPHEN LICKORISH “F4 organisers should be applauded”
Money. It’s a common topic in the world of motorsport.
Pretty much every week you can read a story about a series becoming too expensive and/or a driver running out of budget to complete a season.
What you don’t read about anywhere near as often is a sensible answer to spiralling costs.
Therefore British F4 organisers need to be applauded. It’s no secret that since the category became an FIA F4 series costs have escalated from its Formula Ford days. Now they have come up with a solution to try to tackle that problem: The new Challenge Cup.
On the face of it, the move may seem like just a new name for the rookie class. But it’s about a lot more than that. The whole premise for the new class is that drivers can take part in it for less than £100,000. Now that may seem like a lot of money, but compared to some of the budgets of drivers in the series, it is not.
To get costs down, organisers have reduced it to seven weekends (instead of 10) and restricted in-season testing (seven test days plus usual Friday practice).
The beauty of the new Challenge Cup is that it brings several different benefits to different types of driver.
For those who do not have the budget for a full season, they can still take part in the series and fight for a championship. For drivers who are too young to start the season it gives them something to fight for too. And for those unsure about embarking on the single-seater route it gives them chance to try it out and compete for a title at the same time.
Grid numbers in British F4 this year haven’t always been great – especially considering the buzz about the series when it was initially launched two years ago. Now this Challenge Cup could help to bring the numbers up and with no difference to the technical regulations, these extra drivers can compete for overall race wins too.
While the new ideas for 2017 could well give the championship a major boost, it can also get one this weekend with a thrilling title showdown.
It is all set up perfectly. Sennan Fielding – driving for the JHR Developments squad that is tiny compared to the Carlin, Arden and Fortec teams – leads by just five points. But there are still five other drivers with a mathematical chance of winning: Carlin’s consistent Max Fewtrell and Arden’s Red Bull-backed Aussie Luis Leeds stand the best chance, although Devlin Defrancesco, James Pull (both Carlin) and Alex Quinn (Fortec) are still outside bets.
A terrific battle beckons and if it delivers on the promise then it can only help gather interest for the series ahead of 2017.
club drivers that demonstrate the values of sportsmanship on the track and in the paddock.”
Matt Manderson will take over the Bowlby car for the final OSS round at Silverstone next month. 5 Andrew Lawrence; 6 Ryan Edwards. FL Fowler 1m00.99s (50.69mph). Junior TKM (11 laps) 1 Adam Sparrow; 2 Joe Fowler +4.14s; 3 Bradley White; 4 Abbi Pulling; 5 Ian Sisson; 6 Lee Whittingham. HW Whittingham, Sparrow. FL Sparrow 1m11.39s (43.31mph). P Whittingham. S 22. Final 2 (13 laps) 1 Whittingham; 2 Pulling +0.25s; 3 Sparrow; 4 James Pashley; 5 Jordan Lee-chapman; 6 Fowler. FL Whittingham 1m01.29s (50.45mph). Junior X30 (13 laps) 1 Angus Fender; 2 Evan Cook +0.18s; 3 Abigail Ross; 4 Louie Westover; 5 James Taylor; 6 Tom Westworth. HW Oliver Clarke (x2). FL Oliver Greetham 59.71s (51.78mph). P Fender. S 27. Final 2 (13 laps) 1 Clarke; 2 Gordon Mutch +0.62s; 3 Westover; 4 Fender; 5 Greetham; 6 Cook. FL Reggie Duhy 59.09s (52.32mph). Senior X30 (14 laps) 1 Thomas Turner; 2 Matthew Hirst +0.53s; 3 Matt Davies; 4 Ben Davis; 5 Brett Ward; 6 Jordan Brown. HW Turner (x2). FL Davies 58.30s (53.03mph). P Turner. S 22. 1 Davies; 2 Turner +0.48s; 3 Hirst; 4 Euan Wilson; 5 Ward; 6 Davis. FL Turner 58.11s (53.21mph).
Final 2 (14 laps)