Wednesday, May 1, 2024

SCCA Pro Racing’s Alternate Single Seaters Feeder series

But does anybody besides Hard Core racing Fans pay Attenzione to these Championships?


I’ll admit that this new for 2024 SCCA Pro Racing single seater ladder system is largely foreign to Mwah. Especially since I’ve never paid any Attenzione to the United States F4 series run under FIA Formula 4 regulations. And only casually know about FR Americas due to it’s “linkage” to Indy NXT competition…


What I found entertaining about these three feeder series is that their Race Director is a former IndyCar driver from Up North Eh! Unfortunately known here on No Fenders as Scott “What Pace Car?” Goodyear!


As the Sports Car club of America (SCCA Pro Racing) and the previously unheard of Parella Motorsport Holdings (PMH) organizations are billing these three tiered feeder series  as a lower cost alternative, complete with Scholarship prize funding to it’s other Open wheel Racing series. Including a Ligier chassis, Hankook tyres and a monetary award for advancement up the ladder’s rungs.


Which if I’m reading the proverbial tea leaves correctly, is PR Speak for Cheaper ladder system than its USFPro Championships competizione…


Ligier JS F4 Series

Guessing that this is the SCCA’s, and Ligier’s answer to Anderson Promotions introduction of it’s USF Juniors program? Which is intended to compete directily vs. the Formula 4 United State Championship


Although reportedly Tony Parella,.proprietor of Parella Motorsport Holdings, creator of the series says He saw a need to fill the void between jumping directly from Karting to U.S. F4 single seaters.


This marks the newly created single seaters series debut season. With entrants 14 years and up racing “GEN 1” (First Generation) Ligier JS F4 racecars. Arse-sumedly replete with Honda 2.0-litre inline four cylinder normally aspirated lumps’, regulated to a maximum of 160bhp.


The six race calendar begins at Nola Motorsports Park in New Orleans. (April 11-14) Running under the Speed Tour banner in conjunction with it’s “Big Brother” U.S. Formula 4 Brethren, both serving as support series to FR Americas. Along with the  SVRA  and Trans Am series.


Followed by stops at Road America, Mid-Ohio, New Jersey, Trois Riviers and COTA. As the Circuit Of The Americas season finale  is a Fortnight after Austin plays host to it’s yearly United States Grand Prix Formula 1 race weekend.


Formula 4 United States championship

For 2024, this series sees the introduction of the new Ligier JS F422 as it’s sole chassis, utilizing the 1.65-litre Ligier Storm’ V-4 engine instead. As Honda seems to have quietly exited supporting SCCA single seater racing this year.


The season’s first round slated for Nola Raceway Park this April was cancelled due to delays with the arrival of the new chassis. As the championship will contest the same remaining five rounds as above. Beginning at Road America from May 16-19, and ending at COTA October 31-November 3rd.


As I’d like to Arse-sume these Ligier racecars are faster than their previous JS F4 chassis, and ditto for the FR Americas entries…


FR Americas (Formula Regional Americas)

This is the only rung of the series I’m casually aware of, due to it’s influx of participants to Indy Lights, and now Indy NXT.


As former FR Americas champions Kyle Kirkwood, Linus Lundqvist and Kyffin Simpson have all graduated from Indy Lights and are now competing in Indy Cars. Along with FR Americas runner-up David Malukas.


While FR Americas Alumni Benjamin Pedersen also graduated to Indy Lights before a single season racing for A.J. foyt enterprises in IndyCar last year. Making for a total of five Alumni to make it All the way to the Big boyz’ rainks, ergo IndyCar, America’s premiere Open Wheel Racing category.


As I’ve come up with a total of 14 former drivers who’ve graduated to Indy NXT. Including reigning 2023 FR Americas Champion Callum Hedge, who won 13 of 18 races last year enroute to the title! And now drives for HMD Motorsports in Indy NXT.


The series will contest a total of seven rounds this year, each comprising of three races for a total of 21 races.


FR Americas will contest All six rounds above with it’s Junior F4 Brethren. Along with a Non-points Invitational round at Laguna Seca May 2-5. With the Big News being it’s Debutante event at Mother Speedway! When taking part June 13-16 during the SVRA Sprint Series outing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.


From the series inception in 2018 thru 2023, FR Americas competitors competed for a scholarship advancement prize to contest the following Super Formula season courtesy of Honda. Which as noted, has quietly ended it’s association with these two SCCA Pro Racing Feeder Series.


As the previous Ligier JS F3 sported a 2.0-litre DOHC inline four cylinder turbocharged Honda engine producing 303bhp.


While this year’s Ligier JS F3 chassis sports the Ligier Storm V-4 lump’. For which all I could discern about this 1.65-liter 90-degrees V-4 engine utilized for both the JS F422 and JS F3 single seater chassis. Is that it has only two valves per cylinder, presumably SOHC, whilst I’d like to Arse-sume that the JS F3 version is also turbocharged? And producing relatively the same Horsepower as it’s predecessor.


While I’m also guessing that the new scholarship advancement prize award for this year’s FR Americas champion allows it’s recipient to graduate to Indy NXT, the next logical step upon this ladder system…