An Introduction to Formula Acceleration 1

by Paul Hensby

This weekend sees the debut of a new open-wheel championship at Portimao in Portugal. Formula Acceleration 1 is a single-make series with each team representing the country in which they are from, much like the A1GP series that existed between 2005 and 2010. However unlike A1GP, the FA1 drivers do not have to come from the same country as the team.

The car is the A1GP Lola B05/52 used between 2005 and 2008 in the series, with a V8, 3.4-litre Zytek engine that throws out up to 550 horsepower. The equalization of the series means the cost for a full year is approximately €450,000, making it one of the cheapest series to race in.

The other incentive for the winning driver/team of the championship will be the entitlement to the full budget for the following season in FA1, plus a test day in a GP2 Series car in Abu Dhabi.

There will be two 30-minute free practice sessions during the event, followed by two 30-minute qualifying sessions to determine the grid for the two races. Race one will be thirty minutes long with one mandatory pit stop, while race two will be 45 minutes long with two mandatory pit stops.

The Saturday race will have the 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 points scoring system used in Formula 1 and other series, while the Sunday race will use a 20-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 points scoring system. There are additional points on offer for the pole sitter of each race, plus to the driver who sets the fastest lap of each race.

Formula Acceleration 1 is part of a bigger festival style weekend that involves car and bike racing with live music and other entertainments. Knight Rider and Baywatch legend David Hasselhoff will host the music events on Friday nights, while international DJ’s perform on Saturday evenings.

2014 Formula Acceleration 1 Calendar

1 25th-27th April Portugal Autodromo Internacional do Algarve
2 02nd-04th May Spain Circuito de Navarra
3 23rd-25th May Germany Nurburgring
4 06th-08th June Italy Autodromo Nazionale Monza
5 18th-20th July Belgium Circuit Zolder
6 22nd-24th August France Circuit Paul Ricard
7 29th-31st August Hungary Hungaroring
8 17th-19th October Netherlands TT Circuit Assen

So far teams from Belgium, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain and Sweden have entered teams, with Nigel Melker (for Belgium), Tom Dillmann (France), Sebastian Balthasar (Germany), Picho Toledano (Mexico) and Felix Rosenqvist (Sweden) confirmed to race.

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