Preview: FR Americas and F4 U.S. Championship at Mid-Ohio

Preview: FR Americas and F4 U.S. Championship at Mid-Ohio

North American Racing

Preview: FR Americas and F4 U.S. Championship at Mid-Ohio

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Approaching Halfway in 2022 at Mid-Ohio

The Formula Regional Americas Championship Powered by Honda (FR Americas) and Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda (F4 U.S.) march toward the halfway point of their 2022 seasons while completing Rounds 7, 8 and 9 of their 18-round championship this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Since F4 U.S.’s inaugural season in 2016, Mid-Ohio is the only circuit that the championship has visited each year and it has been the site of more F4 U.S. races than any other venue. Meanwhile, this will mark the fifth trip to Mid-Ohio for FR Americas, which only missed visiting the 2.24-mile road course during its 2019 campaign.

FR Americas and F4 U.S. will both compete as part of the Mid-Ohio SpeedTour event, where they will join the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA), the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli and International GT in an action-packed weekend. Spectator gates will be open Friday through Sunday, with tickets available for pre-sale at MidOhio.com or at the gate.

Watch this Weekend’s Races Free on Social 

Fans at home will be able to watch this weekend’s FR Americas and F4 U.S. races free on social media, with streaming available on the newly-formed SpeedTourTV YouTube page (YouTube.com/SpeedTourTV). FR Americas will stream Race 1 (9:40 a.m. ET) on Saturday, and Race 3 (5:10 p.m. ET) on Sunday. F4 U.S. will stream Race 1 (11:40 a.m. ET) on Saturday, and Races 2 and 3 (9:00 a.m. ET and 3:25 p.m. ET, respectively) on Sunday. Be sure to subscribe and click the bell icon to turn on notifications for the channel to receive an alert any time SpeedTourTV goes live.

FR Americas & F4 U.S. Veterans Finding Success in Other Series

Several FR Americas and F4 U.S. drivers have been in the headlines lately for the success they’re finding as they climb the motorsports ladder. Kyle Kirkwood, the 2018 FR Americas champion, recently announced his signing with Andretti Autosport for the 2023 IndyCar campaign. Just last month, Kirkwood joined David Malukas (2020 FR Americas runner-up) as two of seven rookies to compete in the 2022 Indianapolis 500.

Also in May, Kyffin Simpson, the 2021 FR Americas Champion, signed with Chip Ganassi Racing as a development driver for the 14-time IndyCar championship-winning team. Another FR Americas alum participating in an impressive driver development program is Ernie Francis Jr. After finishing third in the FR Americas standings in 2021, Francis Jr. was signed for the Penske Entertainment’s Race for Equality & Change program, where he is racing in Indy Lights competition with the Force Indy team this season. Also racing in Indy Lights this season is 2020 FR Americas champion, Linus Lundqvist. With four wins so far this season, Lundqvist currently leads the Indy Lights point standings. Benjamin Pedersen, another FR Americas & F4 U.S. alum who is racing in his second season of Indy Lights competition, is set for his first IndyCar test with Juncos Hollinger Racing team next week.

Meanwhile, Hunter Yeaney (2020 F4 U.S. champion) continues his path in formula racing, competing in FIA Formula 3 this season with Campos Racing. Another F4 U.S. alum, Chloe Chambers, also continues her climb on the formula racing ladder as she races in the W Series this season with Jenner Racing.

FR Americas Championship Powered by Honda

A Look Back at Road America

It’s been one month since FR Americas last took to the track at Road America. TJ Speed not only swept the weekend, but also swept the entire podium in Race 3 that weekend. Raoul Hyman (No. 27 Bethesda Holdings Limited / Solomon Capital Enterprises / Oaklands / Kinross Ligier JS F3), the current FR Americas point leader, won both Races 1 and 3, while teammate Jason Alder (No. 77 Drive for Diabetes Awareness / HAKUN Ligier JS F3) brought home the victory in Race 2 to claim his first win of 2022.

Drivers Look to Draw on Past Experience at Mid-Ohio

Two drivers in this weekend’s field have previous FR Americas experience at Mid-Ohio, while three others competed in last year’s F4 U.S. races at the circuit. Dylan Tavella (No. 14 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F3) and Nick Persing (No. 29 OPI Commercial Builders Ligier JS F3) both raced in the FR Americas races at Mid-Ohio last season. Meanwhile, Mac Clark (No. 25 Future Star Racing Ligier JS F3), Jason Alder and Hayden Bowlsbey (No. 3 Save22 / Southern Linac LLC Ligier JS F3) all found success in F4 U.S. competition at Mid-Ohio last year. Clark claimed two victories and a runner-up result to finish on the podium in each of the weekend’s three races. Alder finished third in Race 2 to earn a podium finish on the weekend, while Bowlsbey’s fourth-place result in Race 2 was his second-best finish of the season.

Athreya Ramanan Makes FR Americas Debut

Athreya Ramanan, a 17-year-old from Sammamish, Wash., is set to make his FR Americas debut this weekend at Mid-Ohio driving the No. 96 Cedar Coast / Outland Living / Lordco / Jevity / Penn-Elcomm / LA Prep / Kirby Studio Ligier JS F3 for Doran-Kroll Competition. After being named the Vice Champion in the 2021 Formula Pro USA Western Championship, Ramanan began testing with Doran-Kroll Competition before finally getting the opportunity to race in FR Americas. He will join teammates Alex Kirby (No. 8 Doran-Kroll Competition Ligier JS F3) and Marco Kacic (No. 95 Lordco / Cedar Coast / Penn Elcom / Jevity / Kirby Studio / L.A Prep Ligier JS F3) as the team’s third entry this weekend.

Championship Battle Heats Up with a Super Formula Scholarship on the Line

With a Super Formula scholarship on the line from Honda Performance Development and Honda Motor Co. Motorsports Division, the championship battle is starting to take shape with six of 18 races completed. Raoul Hyman currently leads the charge with 126 points. Hyman has finished on the podium in each of the six races to date, including three victories, two runner-up finishes, and one third-place result. Dylan Tavella remains within striking distance and sits just 23 points back with his five podium finishes. The New Yorker secured his first win of 2022 at NOLA Motorsports Park during the NOLA SpeedTour in April. Jason Alder (-43 points), Mac Clark (-56 points), and Ryan Yardley (-73 points, No. 78 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F3) round out the top five.

F4 U.S. Championship Powered by Honda

Recapping Road America

Velocity Racing Development proved impossible to beat when F4 U.S. was last on track at Road America last month. Matt Christensen (No. 45 Velocity Racing Development Ligier JS F4) earned back-to-back victories—his first of the season—in Races 1 and 2, while his teammate Noah Ping (No. No. 65 Velocity Racing Development Ligier JS F4) won Race 3. The event marked not only a weekend sweep by VRD, but the team also swept the podium in Race 3 with Ping leading Christensen and Nicholas Rivers (No. 24 Velocity Racing Development Ligier JS F4) to the finish line.

Several Drivers Return to Mid-Ohio with an Experience Edge

Four drivers competing in the F4 U.S. field this weekend boast previous experience in the series at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Both Matt Christensen and Gabriel Fonseca (No. 76 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4) recorded a best finish of sixth at Mid-Ohio in F4 U.S. competition last season. They’ll look to improve on those this weekend. Other drivers in this weekend’s event with prior F4 U.S. starts at Mid-Ohio include Artie Flores (No. 22 Gonella Racing / Flexi Ligier JS F4) and Ryan Shehan (No. 66 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4).

New Faces & New Places, Several Teams and Drivers Debuting at Mid-Ohio

Several drivers are making their first F4 U.S. start this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Jay Howard Driver Development is adding Michael Boyiadzis (No. 3 Jay Howard Driver Development, CSU One Cure, Lucas Oil, Pelican Ligier JS F4) and Al Morey IV (No. 7 Jay Howard Driver Development / CSU One Cure / Lucas Oil / Ligier JS F4 Pelican) to their driver line-up for the weekend. Andre Castro will join the Future Star Racing stable as he pilots the No. 8 Future Star Racing Ligier JS F4. International Motorsports will expand to a three-car team with Giorgio Carrara piloting the No. 32 International Motorsports Ligier JS F4. Meanwhile, FR Americas team IGY6 Motorsports will expand to the F4 U.S. championship with Jacob Bolen behind the wheel of the No. 25 Indian Creek CBD / Save22 Ligier JS F4.

FR Americas Scholarship Up for Grabs in Championship Battle

With a scholarship on the line to compete in the 2023 FR Americas season, the battle is heating up in the F4 U.S. point standings. Lochie Hughes (No. 6 Jay Howard Driver Development Ligier JS F4) won the season opener at NOLA Motorsports Park to capture the points lead and has not looked back. Hughes currently holds an eight-point lead over second-place Matt Christensen. Nicholas Rivers sits third (-27 points) after winning a race at NOLA, while Noah Ping is fourth (-29 points) after winning his first race of the season at Road America. Bryson Morris (No. 39 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4) and Alex Berg (No. 08 Doran-Kroll Competition Ligier JS F4) are both tied for fifth, 30 points behind the leader.

 

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