The CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Championship will open its 2019 season with a bang, confirmed as one of the support categories at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2019.
As part of a huge year for the category, 2019’s best drivers will also get a chance to face off against the best in the region, with a Formula 4 Asia Pacific Cup also confirmed to take place in China late next year, as well as an inaugural Formula 4 World Cup also on the cards.
With the opening round of the Australian season to coincide with Australia’s biggest motor sport event, CAMS President Andrew Papadopoulos said the opportunity for young drivers was significant.
“Albert Park is a fantastic circuit and the drivers will really get an opportunity to soak up everything that comes with being involved in a world class, Formula 1 event,” Papadopoulos said.
“We’d like to thank the Australian Grand Prix Corporation and Formula One Management for this significant opportunity.”
Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott formally welcomed the Australian Formula 4 Championship to the Grand Prix’s lineup of support categories in Melbourne.
“These young Australian drivers are the future of motor sport in our country and we are excited to host the opening round of the Australian Formula 4 Championship here at Albert Park in 2019,” Westacott said.
“We hope that by giving these aspiring young racers the opportunity to follow in the tracks of their Formula 1 heroes, it will help inspire these boys and girls to achieve their dreams.’’
Meanwhile, the year’s top three drivers, plus eight wildcard entries from the four Asia Pacific F4 Championships (China, Japan, SEA (South East Asia) and Australia) will compete in China at the end of the season as part of the new Formula 4 Asia Pacific Cup.
Drivers competing in the 2019 Championship will represent Australia, which Papadopoulos said would provide more development opportunities.
“The introduction of both the World Cup and Asia Pacific Cup provides our drivers with a superb opportunity to highlight their skills and abilities in front of a global audience,” Papadopoulos said.
“I have no doubt that those qualify from the CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Championship will be hungry to do their country proud.
“With the Australian Grand Prix opening race, a World Cup and Asia Pacific Cup on offer, it’s going to be a very exciting year for our young drivers.”
The Cup concept is expected to be similar to the recent FIA GT Nations Cup, where the best GT drivers went head-to-head in Bahrain in the inaugural event.
Formula 4 graduate Brenton Grove and father Stephen represented Australia in the GT event, Brenton one of many highly credentialed former drivers.
“Formula 4 has proven itself as a strong development category, with many of our graduates securing drives across a wide range of categories,” Papadopoulos added.
“Former graduates include Supercars Enduro co-driver Will Brown, as well as Dunlop Super2 Series regulars Thomas Randle, Jack Smith, Zane Goddard, Brenton Grove, Porsche Junior Jordan Love and German Formula 4 runner-up Liam Lawson. We look forward to adding even more names to the list in the years ahead.”
The Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2019 takes place on 14-17 March next year.
Any drivers interested in taking part in Formula 4 next year, including for opportunities at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2019, should contact David Corrigan: (03) 9593 7783 or via email [email protected].
Victorian driver Thomas Smith with the CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Championship Car – (Australian Grand Prix Corporation);
Andrew Westacott (AGPC CEO), Thomas Smith (F4 Driver), Michael Smith (CAMS General Manager of Motor Sport) – (Australian Grand Prix Corporation);
Round Three of the 2018 Australian Formula 4 Championship at Phillip Island – (Dan Thompson);
Thomas Smith leaping in Albert Park pit lane – (Australian Grand Prix Corporation).