CAMS Chief Executive Eugene Arocca has announced several changes to the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship, aimed at significantly reducing the cost of competing in 2016.
“After reviewing the inaugural season and consulting with our teams, sponsors and other stakeholders, we have made a number of changes to the Championship to ensure it continues to launch the next generation of Australian racers onto the world stage,” Arocca said.
“From a high-performance, elite talent development perspective we couldn’t be happier with year one.
“Jordan Lloyd and Thomas Randle have tested successfully overseas, Jimmy Vernon and Nick Rowe competed in the Bathurst 12 Hour, Zane Goddard will be competing in Formula MSA next year and a number of the younger drivers are planning to contest F4 again in 2016.
“Perhaps most importantly, our category has caught the attention of talent scouts across the globe, evidenced by the signing of 15 year old Luis Leeds by Red Bull.
“These results, coupled with the proliferation of F4 Championships around the world, have reinforced that Formula 4 is a critical step on the path to international success.
“Our mission is to ensure the category is accessible and sustainable from a cost perspective for our most talented young drivers.
“To this end, we have been able to secure a more favourable arrangement to insure the competing cars, meaning the full insurance cost will now be included in the new lease fee of $35,000.
“This, along with several other measures, will reduce the cost to the driver of around $165,000 (excluding testing), while maintaining a presence at some of Australia’s best circuits and significant free-to-air and pay television coverage. This will ultimately ensure Australia’s Formula 4 Championship represents outstanding value and currently remains the world’s most affordable.”
AGI Sport Director Adam Gotch said the changes would help Formula 4 reach its potential.
“It is important the category is affordable and CAMS, with their partners, have done a great job to ensure this is the case.
“There is plenty of interest from talented drivers so we are really positive about this year and the future of the category.”
Arocca said the teams and key partners of the Championship were fully supportive of the changes.
“AGI Sport, DREAM Motorsport and Team BRM have been incredibly positive and supportive from the beginning of this journey and JRD (Junior Racing Development) have recently committed as well.
“Collectively we have left no stone unturned in an effort to make the model as effective and successful as possible.
“Our corporate partners, led by Jayco, Penrite and Hankook, continue to be supportive and make outstanding contributions to Australian motor sport.
“We have the right partners, the right teams and the right formula. We are looking forward to a successful season in 2016 and helping more of our young stars reach their potential.”
A summary of key changes is as follows:
The Championship will be reduced from 7 to 6 rounds (total of 18 races), with the New Zealand Highlands Park round removed from the calendar.
The prize money will be changed from one annual prize to a total of $17,500 available for each round.
The winner of each round will receive $10,000, with second place receiving $5,000 and third $2,500 at the conclusion of every round.
The Burson Auto Parts Rookie of the Year prize will again be awarded to the highest finishing Rookie (first year in the category).
Competitors will be eligible to win the Championship and claim prize money up to the age of 21 (previously 19) and New Zealanders will also now be eligible.
Lease fee / Insurance:
The full insurance cost will now be included in the new (annual) lease fee of $35,000.
Testing will be carried out by teams (under supervision from CAMS) individually and one additional test will be permitted.
The opening round of the championship kicks off at Tasmania’s Symmons Plains circuit on April 1st.