At the Circuit of the Americas this weekend, the SCCA Pro Racing has launched the Ligier Crawford JS F3 which will be the official car to the upcoming F3 Americas Championship. Designed to be a ‘Continental Formula 3’ series that will make the jump easier for young drivers in North and South America.
Being announced at the final round of the F4 US Championship, which also coincides with the United States Grand Prix, the FIA selected Onroak Automotive as the exclusive chassis constructor for the championship, having already taken over the equivalent F4 series.
In order to keep it in line, the car used in US F4 will be renamed the Ligier Crawford JS F4, though will keep the same model as it’s had for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
The FIA-F3 spec machine will also have a 240 to 270-horsepower Honda Performance Development version of the new Honda Civic Type-R turbocharged K20C1 (Honda 2-Litre) motor that is used in US F4. By keeping engine and chassis production within the USA, costs should be reduced for the series that also plans to run Pirelli P-Zero tyres.
“SCCA Pro Racing’s introduction of an FIA F3 race series is a great opportunity for our partners and us 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.”
The series is set to be a Continental F3 championship, putting it in line with the existing FIA European F3 Championship, though will likely be seen as set up for the F4 series of the region before introducing young drivers to the FIA’s rebranded International F3 Championship that is set to take shape after the potential GP3-F3 merge in 2019.
Max Crawford, General Manager of Onroak Automotive North America, said; “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 new car will also feature the FIA approved Halo device. The series will debut 27 April 2018 at the Virginia International Raceway.