The Ford F4 British Championship Challenge Cup will be introduced next year in order to help drivers with smaller budgets take their first step into single-seaters. It will allow drivers to compete in just seven rounds of the British F4 season collecting points for a separate cup.
The scheme is designed for young racers making their first step into FIA Formula 4 and will reduce the championship registration to £2000. Drivers will only need to compete in seven rounds with rumours that Knockhill will be essential for drivers to not avoid the calendars most remote circuit.
The racers will all compete alongside the regular field with the Challenge Cup being run similarly to the Rookie Cup in which drivers can collect points for both titles.
To avoid further advantage to be gained from rivals, testing will be limited to Friday’s before the race. The only exception will be the seven officially organised test days in which drivers can also get valuable time in the car.
In line with the rookie cup and regular championship, prize money will be available for the podium finishers. Over the course of the season, £10’000 worth of prize money will be distributed, with a further scholarship, worth £15’000, handed to the title winner to compete in a full F4 season in 2018.
There will also be a prize of £5’000 for the first Challenge Cup driver to win an overall. The scheme is hoping to increase the interest from drivers and bump up championship numbers, having failed to attract extra drivers to the series.
“There are a lot of drivers who have so much talent, but haven’t got sufficient budget behind them to make the step to single-seaters.” said championship manager David Lowe.
“The F4 British Championship has always strived to provide exceptional value in terms of cost per track mile. Coupled with the Motor Sport Association’s directive to provide affordable motor racing, the introduction of the Challenge Cup in 2017 ensures that the series remains at the forefront of providing highly competitive, yet affordable racing.
“It is our hope that drivers who race in the Challenge Cup will be able to progress by making full use of their experience and increased exposure in British F4 to embark on an assault for the overall championship the following season.”