(AUSTIN, TX – October19th, 2017) The F3 Americas racing series will debut on April 27th, 2018 at Virginia International Raceway, running on the same weekend with its partner series, the F4 U.S. Championship. The F3 Americas series continues the evolution of affordable, competitive, and technologically advanced open-wheel racing that 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 and powerful machinery.
The series will feature two 30 -minute races per weekend, with 30-minute practices and qualifying sessions. In addition to the debut race at VIR, there will be five race weekends at prestigious tracks around the United States. There will be two series-supported season tests, one to be held prior to the first race, and the other during the season.
Featuring an all-new, F3-FIA* spec Ligier Crawford JS F3 race car chassis that is made in North Carolina and developed by Onroak Automotive, the F3 Americas teams will race a chassis the 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 240 to 270-horsepower Honda Performance Development 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 (Ohio) 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 new F3 Americas series will continue running on proven Pirelli tires developed for this series. These tires are Pirelli P Zero, known for their positive feedback, grip, and consistency through the race event.
The F3 Americas series aligns with the global FIA development ladder philosophy of using common components to provide a cost-efficient, reliable, and powerful racing structure as drivers ascend through the levels on their way to U.S. or global racing success.
“SCCA Pro Racing’s introduction of an FIA F3 race series is a great opportunity for our partners and SCCA Pro Racing to reset the current paradigm of open-wheel racing in North America,” said Steve Oseth, Vice President/General Manager of SCCA Pro Racing. “Its introduction, combined with the steps above and below the F3 series, will work to greatly lower the running costs of open-wheel race cars and attract new, young racing talent.”
Art St. Cyr, President, Honda Performance Development, adds: “Our grassroots racing engines have provided the basis for many top-level racers and we’re excited to continue offering the affordable and reliable Honda K20 Type-R engine as part of this series. It also helps to showcase the ability of our grassroots racing programs to support racing skills development, as the competitors progress through higher levels of engine power.”
Max Crawford, General Manager of Onroak Automotive North America, notes that “The F3 race series will feature the next generation of all-new FIA race cars, the Ligier Crawford JS F3, designed and manufactured in the United States, at Onroak Automotive North America’s headquarters in Denver, North Carolina. The Ligier Crawford JS F3 is the next step up from Onroak Automotive NA’s successful F4 car. The ability to design, manufacture and service the cars in the U.S. has always been part of Onroak Automotive NA’s commitment to the F3 series. The design team in Denver, NC, has worked comprehensively with the FIA on implementing all the requirements for the new generation of F3 cars, and this has enabled us to produce the new car at a level of performance and safety that leads the world.”
Orazio Mastracchio, NAFTA Motorsport Manager for Pirelli NA states: “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.”
*Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile