The Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda has expanded its 2017 season from five events to six, visiting some of the most prestigious open-wheel tracks in North America with stops at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Circuit of the Americas in Texas.
The schedule announcement was made today in conjunction with HP Composites and Onroak Automotive North America (formerly Crawford Composites) during a press conference held at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis.
The entry-level, cost-contained open-wheel series has gained momentum in interest from teams and drivers from across the country since its 2016 unveiling. The second season’s grid is expected to double in size with more than 35 cars.
“The competition has become more intense with the increase in grid size,” said SCCA Pro Racing President Mike Collins. “We felt that the tracks also needed to reflect that competitive edge. The 2017 schedule is composed of elite open-wheel tracks that will create exciting racing while also serving as great learning tools for these young drivers.”
The F4 U.S. Championship, utilizing the FIA Formula 4 homologated Crawford F4-16 chassis and Honda K20 C1 2.0-liter engine, makes its first official 2017 stop at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida April 8-9 in concert with the SCCA Pro sanctioned TransAm series.
The following two scheduled events will be held at Virginia International Raceway with Pirelli World Challenge, April 28-30, and historic IMS June 8-11.
The Championship will then travel North with IMSA making its first international racing debut in Canada at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (Mosport) July 8-9.
For the second consecutive year, F4 U.S. will join the NASCAR Xfinity Series and TransAm as the supporting race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course August 10-12. The championship will conclude at COTA with the World Endurance Championship, September 14-17.
“The racing format for the F4 U.S. Championship will change slightly for 2017,” said Collins. “Since F4 is a youth-focused series and education comes first, we have tried to be considerate of that during our schedule planning. In 2017, most of the events during the school year will be held to weekends only.”
An early break was built into the schedule to allow each team a chance to reset before traveling to Canada and to give rookie drivers the chance for additional testing. With four events left on the calendar, each team can examine data from the first part of the season to optimize both car and driver for a chance to capture the series championship.
During the press conference, Collins also alluded to the addition of a Formula 3 United States Championship.
“The FIA and SCCA Pro Racing are in discussions about a domestically built Crawford homologated chassis for the new F3 series,” said Collins. “Bringing F3 to the U.S. will offer the competitors the next step in the Formula championship ladder.”
For more information on the 2017 schedule and teams can be found at F4USChampionship.com.
***cover photo provided by Sunday Group Management