Ford and MSA bring FIA F4 concept to Britain

BRENTWOOD, Essex, 17 September, 2014 – The most exciting development in British junior single-seater motor racing for almost 50 years took a step closer to reality today when Ford Motor Company announced key facts about the arrival of the FIA F4 concept in the UK for the 2015 season. Powered by the race-proven Ford 1.6L EcoBoost engine, the new championship’s carbon-fibre monocoque chassis will provide drivers with a safe, reliable and economical means of getting on the grid for the first time. The series will be showcased alongside the British Touring Car Championship, providing access to Britain’s biggest motorsport TV package on ITV4.

Key facts

  • New championship to be named MSA Formula – Certified by FIA, Powered by Ford EcoBoost
  • New car available to order from 27 September, following its unveiling at Silverstone
  • Powered by Ford: 1.6-litre EcoBoost engines, as proven in Formula Ford, tuned to deliver the FIA’s maximum permitted 160 PS
  • Initial batch of 15 cars to be delivered by December 2014
  • ‘Ready to race’ price of a new car including engine lease, Sadev sequential paddle shift transmission and data logging system less than £36,000*
  • The only UK championship awarded by the MSA and run to the FIA’s F4 regulations
  • In 2015 MSA Formula will be open to 15-year-old drivers. It will be the only single-seater championship in Britain to offer this
  • Carbon-fibre monocoque chassis, designed to meet exacting FIA safety standards, to be produced by leading European manufacturer Mygale
  • Single engine tuner: all power units to be supplied through one leading race engine preparer
  • Control tyres from leading race and road tyre manufacturer Hankook
  • 10-meeting, 30-race schedule of BTCC-support races at all major British circuits, with live TV and highlights package
  • Mentoring and driver development programme every race weekend overseen by the MSA, British motorsport’s governing body

Attractive purchase price
One of the chief attractions of MSA Formula will be its remarkable value for money. Not only has the cost of a new chassis been kept to a minimum, careful attention has been paid to the cost of consumables and ease of repair. The technical regulations provide strict governance to ensure that a cap is kept on running costs. MSA Formula will be the only UK championship running to the FIA’s mandated price cap system, enabling affordable racing. The Mygale FIA F4 chassis complete with six-speed sequential gearbox, ‘paddle shift’ steering wheel and data logging system will retail at the FIA’s price cap of £30,400*. The Ford EcoBoost power units will be supplied on a lease basis only at £4800* for a season’s running. A set of Hankook slick race tyres will cost competitors £599.
*at 1.25 €/£ exchange rate

Powered by Ford Ecoboost
The motive power for the new car, the 1.6-litre DI turbocharged EcoBoost – a mainstay of Ford’s performance car range – is a 160 PS development of the unit which has successfully powered Formula Ford in Britain for the last three seasons, designed and manufactured by Ford in Britain and supplied at a price to meet the FIA’s mandated price cap. It is the only engine homologated by the FIA for use in F4 chassis in the UK. The engines and their electronic management systems will be supplied by engine tuner Sodemo in sealed form following dyno testing and power matching to +/- 1.5% tolerance to ensure a level and fair playing field.

Chassis by Mygale
The new championship’s carbon-fibre monocoque chassis, designed to meet exacting FIA safety standards, will be supplied by respected French manufacturer Mygale. Based at Magny-Cours, Mygale was founded in 1989 by Bertrand Decoster; its first car was a Formula Ford and Mygale chassis have gone on to win championships around the globe, including the last nine Formula Ford championships in Britain. Full tech spec

The Mygale F4 chassis, which is being supplied also to the Australian and Chinese markets, is designed around the FIA F3-level safety requirements, including front and rear impact-absorbing structures, anti-intrusion side panels, roll hoops, FIA head restraint system, wheel restraining cables, FIA safety seat and retractable steering wheel and column.

Tyres by Hankook
MSA Formula cars will race on Hankook slick tyres identical in compound and construction to those employed in the FIA European F3 Championship. Drivers will be able to gain valuable experience of the tyres and their characteristics ahead of their next step up the FIA’s racing career ladder. In conjunction with Hankook, Ford will award the 2015 MSA Formula Champion a test with a leading FIA F3 team.

Driver eligibility
MSA Formula is the only championship that meets the technical criteria announced last month by the MSA which will permit 15-year-old drivers to race in certain circumstances, including the completion of an extended ARDS course.

BTCC package
MSA Formula will be contested over 30 races in 2015 as the single-seater support series to the UK’s premier motorsport package, the British Touring Car Championship. The season kicks off in early April and takes in events at all of the UK’s leading race circuits: Brands Hatch, Donington Park, Thruxton, Oulton Park, Croft, Snetterton, Knockhill, Rockingham and Silverstone.  Full dates

New car unveil
The new EcoBoost-powered MSA Formula car will be on show to interested parties at a Silverstone launch event on Saturday 27 September. Championship representatives will be on hand to provide further information regarding the car and race series. Order placement for new cars will commence at Silverstone, with delivery of the first 15 cars by the end of the year. Prospective drivers and teams will be able to discuss finance terms with the championship’s finance partner.

Gerard Quinn, Head of Ford Racing in Europe:
“After many weeks of careful consideration we are delighted to be able to reveal details of MSA Formula – Certified by FIA, Powered by Ford EcoBoost. We believe this to be the most remarkable initiative in junior single-seater racing since the launch of the original Formula Ford in 1967, a concept which helped develop and mould the track careers of so many of motor racing’s great names. We are certain that MSA Formula is absolutely the right package to help set the young drivers of today on the path to similar glories through the FIA ladder of opportunity, of which this series is the first recognised step.

“MSA Formula offers an affordable package, one which will bring top-level single-seater racing within the budgets of a host of young driving talent. This was the world governing body’s aim when it announced its regulations for FIA Formula 4, and Ford is delighted to assist in delivering that promise.

“We have competitively tendered all key elements of the championship, including chassis, engine and tyres. This offers entrants into the series the most affordable single-seat series cost and is the only championship that complies with the FIA global cost cap specified within its F4 regulations.

“We are pleased to announce that we are calling on the expertise of Mygale in France with the supply of chassis. Mygale’s FIA-homologated F4 carbon fibre chassis is an impressively designed and engineered race car, and a perfect match for the race-proven 1.6L EcoBoost engine. The experience gained with EcoBoost over the last three seasons of Formula Ford racing ensures that it will be a reliable and inexpensive engine to race and maintain at optimum performance levels. Ford has a century of racing heritage and we are delighted to be involved with the next generation of racers.”

Rob Jones, MSA Chief Executive:
“The launch of MSA Formula is a really exciting development for UK motor racing, and for young drivers looking to establish themselves in the sport. The objective is to provide young drivers with a clearly defined career path, offer global recognition and a solid foundation in racing. The affordability of the championship and alignment to global regulations will once again establish Britain as the place to come to race. Our driver development programme will offer MSA Formula drivers the best possible learning experience. I firmly believe that the MSA’s adoption of the FIA’s F4 concept makes this the clear choice for young career drivers.”

Gerhard Berger, FIA Single Seat Commission President:
“FIA Formula 4 is in full expansion and our concept is in the process of establishing itself throughout the world. We have developed a modern car, satisfying the latest safety standards while keeping in mind an effective cost control thanks to stable technical regulations. With Formula 4, the FIA is relaunching single-seater racing on the national level and thus offering a new breeding ground for drivers, not only for Formula 1 but also for all the other top-level disciplines.

“With this agreement between the MSA, Ford and the FIA, the United Kingdom will benefit from the best possible combination to ensure the perpetuity of this Formula. Being able to rely on the powerful platform of the BTCC is also an enormous plus All the ingredients are thus gathered together to see to it that the MSA Formula – Certified by FIA, Powered by Ford EcoBoost proves a success. It is essential for the United Kingdom, a country that places great importance on motor sport.”