2017 will see an exciting development in junior single-seater racing with the introduction of the Ford F4 British Championship Challenge Cup. Run to identical regulations as the overall Championship class, the Challenge Cup will give drivers the chance to race against motorsport’s brightest young stars at a reduced budget in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford.
Prizes for Challenge Cup drivers include: free scholarship entry for the 2017 Challenge Cup victor to the 2018 F4 British Championship worth £15,000; £10,000 cash prize fund across the season courtesy of Ford Motor Company; podium for the Challenge Cup class at every round and £5,000 cash prize available to the first Challenge Cup driver to win a race overall.
Entrants will compete in seven of the ten F4 British Championship race meetings during the season and the championship registration fee will be lowered to £2,000.
Testing for Challenge Cup drivers during the season will be limited to Friday official test days of chosen meetings, plus seven additional official organised test days.
Both technical and sporting regulations will be identical to the overall Championship class. Therefore all drivers compete equally on track, with any Challenge Cup driver eligible to finish in the overall race podium positions and score points in the overall championship.
Explained championship manager David Lowe: “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.
“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.
“The Challenge Cup gives drivers who might have thought the crucial first step on the FIA single-seater pyramid was out of reach the chance to compete in Britain’s most competitive single-seater series and on a level playing field.
“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.”
Gerard Quinn, Senior Manager, Ford Performance Europe added: “2017 will be Ford’s 50th consecutive year of supporting young drivers at grass roots level. The introduction of the Ford F4 British Championship Challenge Cup next season is therefore a timely and excellent example of this commitment.
“The Challenge Cup is a perfect addition to the hugely successful F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered Ford and will strengthen the series further. Ford continues to develop motor racing’s stars of the future and the Challenge Cup enhances the Championship’s standing as the ideal place for drivers to begin their journey up the FIA single-seater pyramid.”