STEPHEN LICK­O­R­ISH “F4 or­gan­is­ers should be ap­plauded”

JU­NIOR JOUR­NAL­IST

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

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)

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