There will be a new series supporting the GB3 Championship in 2022, in the form of the newly-announced GB4 Championship.
The series will use the same Tatuus F4-T014 chassis as Spanish, Italian and ADAC F4 series’, bringing it closer to the current GB3 car, while GB3 will also move to a bespoke Tatuus MSV-022 next year.
This will allow teams to use 80% of the same parts across both cars, with the Tatuus chassis’ being broadly similar, further driving down running costs.
MotorSport Vision (MSV)’s new championship will add a feeder series between karting and GB3 on its books, though Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer insisted the series is “not designed to compete with the F4 British Championship“.
That distinction is key, as Motorsport UK has taken control of British F4, introducing a halo-shod car which will increase running costs, both compared to this season’s car, and next season’s GB4 offering.
Palmer added, “Some drivers are going to find that budget but for others it’s going to be too big a barrier; I think there will be a lot of kids that won’t get the opportunity to start at a professional level in single-seater racing.
“I think it’s even more important these days with the importance of diversity and inclusion. One of the biggest barriers for minority groups is still costs of getting involved in these things.”
A season of GB4 racing is currently expected to cost between £120,000 and £150,000, with a £50,000 prize fund for the champion at the end of the season going towards a GB3 campaign.
GB4 will support GB3 and the Intelligent Money British GT Championship, at all rounds except Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, resulting in a prospective 21-race season.
MSV hope that lower operating costs encourage teams to compete in both GB4 and GB3 campaigns, as Carlin, Arden Motorsport and Fortec Motorsport currently do in British F4.
Both series’ will run the same Pirelli tyres, while GB4 will run an Autotecnica Motori-supplied, Mountune-maintained engine producing 160hp.
Palmer closed by saying, “GB4 is a tremendously exciting new championship that will provide aspiring F1 drivers with modest budgets an opportunity to develop and prove their talent, and progress onwards in single-seater racing.
“GB4 is also coming at just the right time. The availability of the current, well-proven Tatuus-Abarth F4 car, coupled with MSV’s highly-respected ability to run excellent junior single-seater series’, means an affordable first step will exist for drivers to emulate George Russell‘s outstanding progress to the top, after he first came to single-seater prominence by winning our inaugural BRDC F4 championship in 2014.”
The series will run 21 races over seven rounds, comprising qualifying and three races per weekend at the best circuits in Britain, with live-streaming, full MSV technical support and shared test days between GB4 and GB3.