FORMULA 4 … AFFORDABLE AND SAFER
It is only three months until Australian motor sport history will be made. The CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship begins in Townsville in early July.
The new open wheel category, backed by the FIA globally and CAMS nationally, is a ‘wings and slicks’ development category at an affordable price tag and from which Australia’s next generation of would-be Daniel Ricciardos will start their climb to Formula 1 from karting.
Drivers as young as 15 can compete in the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship, making it the perfect place to start an international or national motor sport career.
Formula 4 provides young drivers with the ideal category in which to learn about single-seater racing. It is designed to be a cheaper, safer and faster first step after karts for young racers on the road to Formula 1 or indeed any form of motor sport.
Cameron McConville, GM of Motor Sport Development, says of those factors, safety is the most important.
“It has wings and slicks, a carbon fibre monocoque chassis and the latest FIA certified safety equipment including the F1 style energy absorbing cockpit surrounds. It is without doubt the safest development open wheeler racing car.”
Recent reviews in the media report that the light racer has razor-sharp responses and even the lightly modified motor has a punchy feel because it’s moving so little mass. It has impressive feel and the wings produce extra grip.
“It weighs about 525 kilograms, so it’s light and at 160 brake horse power it will be a lot of fun and at the same time not too overwhelming for the young drivers competing in the championship,” says McConville.
This has been backed up by Formula 1 star Daniel Ricciardo who has endorsed the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship and signed the Formula 4 car on display at the recent Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park.
“It looks good,” the Red Bull Racing driver said. “Things are going in the right direction with wings and slicks. I think for kids coming out of karts it’s a really good category.”
“It’s not too big and overwhelming. A kid can easily jump in it and have some fun straight away.”
The new CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship cars, are in effect, mini-F1 single-seaters designed to give junior drivers valuable experience racing a ‘wings and slicks’ machine from the start.
For our young Australian motor sports stars-to-be, Formula 4 is a significant step forward, bringing the bottom rung of the junior car racing ladder right up to date with the latest technology and safety.
The new President of the FIA’s Single-Seater Commission is former Ferrari Team Principal Stefano Domenicali who has taken over from outgoing President Gerhard Berger and his ambitious plan to remodel the route to the top level of racing, creating a clear and simple pathway that would take young racers from karting all the way to Formula 1.
Domenicali is keen to see how the category develops in 2015 as more series are rolled out.
“This year, we will have at least seven championships, in seven nations,” he says, highlighting new championships in the UK, Japan, Australia, Germany, Spain, China and a series in the FIA’s northern European zone.
“It’s a very solid base with a good car. What is fundamental is that over the next three years we make sure that each of these championships, and the ones that follow, are good, well managed, that costs are kept under control, and if we are able to do that, that will be a fantastic starting point.”
The Australian F4 championship will run on the support program of seven major V8 Supercars events, starting with the Townsville 400 from July 10-12.
The winner of the inaugural CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship will receive up to $250,000 in support, to progress up the next step of the development path either locally or overseas.
“All the ingredients are there for a cracking first year… I can’t wait and I know the young competitors can’t either,” McConville said.