Cold winds and unseasonably low temperatures challenged the Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda drivers during the morning portion of their first official series test day at MSR Houston in Angleton, Texas, on Saturday. The just-above-freezing morning temperatures were ideal for top-speeds from the Honda Civic Type R engine, however, it was less than ideal for tire grip.
“I’ve never driven the F4 car in this cold of weather. It was a battle keeping the car on the track this morning, but the more challenging the practice is, the better I become at handling tough situations during a race.” said second-year driver Chris Archinaco of Pittsburgh. “MSR Houston is a very technical track, and conquering it with weather conditions like today makes me more confident that I will be able to obtain my season goals like consistently qualifying in the top-10, capturing a podium and earning points for my team.”
Temperatures for the second half of the test day hit above 50, allowing the track to warm-up. As the tires started to grip the 2.38 mile, 17-turn technical track, the entire field beat their personal best lap times from the morning session.
“Today was my very first time in a car,” said 14-time national karting champion Dakota Pesek of Louisville, Kentucky. “The F4 car is a big machine, but the fundamentals from karting really carried over which made the transition into the F4 car seamless. That’s not to say that it was easy. Today, I learned the importance of breaking areas on the track, where to slow down, how to hit all my marks smoothly and that the temperature impacts the way the car handles. I would like to thank the whole team from Abel Motorsports for giving me this opportunity.”
MSR Houston marks the first of three official tests of the 2018 F4 U.S. season. Seventeen drivers, nine of whom are rookies, on seven teams participated Saturday with 18 drivers expected for Sunday. Teams return to testing on Sunday starting at 8:30 a.m. CT. Fans are welcome to get a sneak peak of the cars in action at no cost. A schedule of on-track activities can be found at F4USChampionship.com.