SCCA Pro Racing announced today the dates for the inaugural F3 Americas Championship Powered by Honda season. The 2018 calendar features six tripleheader race weekends, visiting some of the most prestigious open-wheel tracks in North America with stops at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Circuit of The Americas supporting the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix in Texas.
“At the F3 Americas Championship launch, we stated that we were searching for a six-stop, 17-race schedule on premier tracks, concentrating on the United States to start,” SCCA Pro Racing Vice President Steve Oseth said. “We’ve done that, and now can let those interested in the series know not just what they can race, but when and where.”
The F3 Americas Championship makes its official world debut at Pittsburgh International Race Complex, Aug. 4-5, in concert with the powerhouse maiden event, the Keystone Speedfest, featuring Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda, Trans Am and Formula Race Promotions’ Formula Atlantic, F2000 and F-1600.
The following two stops on the schedule include the Mid-Ohio Challenge with the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Aug. 9-11, and New Jersey Motorsports Park for a formula-packed weekend with F4 U.S. and FRP, Sept. 13-14.
Road Atlanta, Sept. 21-23, will be shared with Historic Sportscar Racings’s fall vintage weekend. The F3 Americas field will travel to the Big Easy for the Xtreme Xperience at NOLA Motorsports Park Oct. 13-14 for its penultimate event. The inaugural championship will be decided during the prestigious F1 U.S. GP at COTA Oct. 19-21.
“With more than 100 years of Pirelli motorsport experience and development for the drivers of powerful sports cars, sports coupes and high-performance luxury sedans, we’re excited to be a part of this new F3 series, which directly ties into the learning and success we’ve had at the premier levels of motorsports,” said Orazio Mastracchio, NAFTA Motorsport Manager for Pirelli NA states.
The F3 Americas series continues the evolution of affordable, competitive and technologically advanced open wheel racing which was established by the successful F4 U.S. Championship that debuted in 2016. This next level of open wheel racing meets the demands of racers and teams looking to grow their capabilities into more sophisticated, powerful machinery. Since its reveal at Circuit of the Americas last October, the new series has generated significant interest in the racing community. Seventy-two chassis purchase agreements have already been sent to teams and drivers.
Featuring an all-new F3-FIA spec Ligier JS F3 race car chassis that is built and developed by Onroak Automotive in North Carolina, the F3 Americas teams will race a chassis that meets the most current global FIA safety specification, including the first North American application of a race car halo. Compared to the F4 U.S. Championship car, the F3 chassis features more configurable aero components, increased impact safety structures and more sophisticated data acquisition.
The F3 Americas car will be powered by a 270-horsepower Honda Performance Development (HPD) version of the new Honda Civic Type-R turbocharged K20C1 motor (a non-turbocharged version is used in the F4 U.S. Championship). This reliable and powerful engine is manufactured in the United States at Honda’s Anna Engine Plant, and the engines are shipped to HPD in Santa Clarita, California, for racing modifications (including installation of a dry sump and other race-specific components). HPD will continue to provide on-track support as with the current F4 U.S. series.
“The success of the F4 U.S. series is a testament to the potential for an affordable and accessible development series, and we’re pleased to continue to power the dreams of these drivers as they graduate to the next step of this series,” said Art St. Cyr, HPD President. “All Honda engines are known for their reliability and performance, and the Honda K20C1 engine is just another example of that—we’re able to use the flexibility of a single engine platform to power two series, reducing cost while meeting the performance needs for each level.”
The new series will continue running on proven Pirelli tires (10-inch Pirelli P Zero tires on the front and 12-inch Pirelli P Zero tires on the rear), completing the F3 Americas $134,000 package, which meets the FIA price cap. The top-seven drivers entered in the championship will also receive FIA Super License points to aid in their racing career advancement to Formula 1.
“The excitement for the Ligier JS F3 and the F3 Americas Championship has been building since our announcement in October,” said F3 Americas developer and Onroak Automotive General Manager Max Crawford. “With our extensive experience with building composite race cars and strong, lightweight composite materials for racing and aerospace industries, we are producing a chassis with the safety features of the current F1 chassis. The Ligier JS F3 exhibits the latest in technology, safety and styling which is the new standard for the FIA F3.”
Twenty cars are anticipated to be produced by opening weekend with delivery from Onroak Automotive starting in June, and another 20 cars will be supplied by the end of the year.
|Aug. 4-5||Pittsburgh International Race Complex||Trans Am, Formula Race Promotion, F4 U.S.|
|Aug. 9-11||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course||NASCAR Xfinity Series, Trans Am|
|Sept. 14-16||New Jersey Motorsports Park||Formula Race Promotion, F4 U.S.|
|Sept. 21-23||Road Atlanta||Historic Sportscar Racing|
|Oct. 13-14||NOLA Motorsports Park||Xtreme Xperience|
|Oct. 19-21||Circuit of The Americas||F1, F4 U.S.|