Eyes on the prize ahead of 2018 British F4 season

  • Plenty of valuable prizes up for grabs once again, including fully funded FIA Formula 3 European Championship test.
  • Rookie Cup returns in place of Challenge Cup.
  • Free entry to 2019 F4 British Championship for Rookie Cup winner.

22 JANUARY, 2018 – With the 2018 season fast approaching, changes in the prize structure for the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost have been confirmed for the upcoming campaign. This year will see the return of the Rookie Cup in place of the Challenge Cup, as well as the usual plethora of valuable prizes available to entrants.

In 2018 the Ford EcoBoost-powered series will once again boast an incredibly desirable array of awards. All of which are fitting for a series which has become renowned for being one of the hardest FIA Formula 4 championships to win.

The prizes reflect Ford’s continued commitment to support young drivers; enabling the next generation of racers to advance to the highest echelons of motorsport. A commitment which has been further underlined by the championship continuing to keep entry and registration fees fixed since its inception in 2015.

Drivers who have no previous car racing experience will have even more to fight for in 2018 as they will be eligible for the Rookie Cup, along with the chance to be crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion.

As was the case in 2015 and 2016 when Enaam Ahmed and Alex Quinn took the respective Rookie titles, entry to the Rookie Cup will not bring with it any limits on testing mileage for drivers and the winner will receive free entry to the 2019 F4 British Championship.

F4 British Championship prizes for 2018 include:

  • £10,000 for the first driver to win all three races in a meeting.
  • £5,000 for the first Rookie Cup entrant to win a race overall.
  • Most Improved Driver – One set of new Hankook tyres for testing, awarded to the driver with the highest combined improvement from starting grid position in races one and three at each meeting.
  • FIA Formula 3 European Championship Test – A fully funded test for the 2018 FIA British Formula 4 Champion with a leading FIA F3 European team courtesy of series partner and tyre supplier Hankook.
  • FIA Super Licence Points – Awarded to the top seven drivers to enable their progression up the motorsport ladder; helping them fulfil their ambitions of acquiring a Super Licence to compete in Formula 1. 12 points will be awarded to the FIA British Formula 4 Champion; two more than any national Formula 3 Championship.
  • Free Entry to 2019 F4 British Championship – Awarded to the 2018 Rookie Champion.
  • Henry Ford Trophy – Those who compete in the F4 British Championship can use the series as a perfect platform from which to demonstrate extraordinary human endeavour in the field of motorsport and therefore put themselves in contention for the Henry Ford Trophy.
  • Joe Tandy Memorial Award – Awarded to the driver deemed to have shown the most promise and improvement during the season.
  • €1,000 Pole Position Prize – Awarded by Mygale to the team which runs the car that qualifies on pole at each round of the championship. The team will receive a €1,000 credit to be used for the acquisition of parts.
  • Snap-on Business Solutions Prizes – A £300 Snap-on Tools voucher will be given to the championship’s top technician at each round of the series. In addition, the top technician of the year will receive a uniquely customised Snap-on Business Solutions toolbox and tools, worth in excess of £5,000.

Like father, like son – Sebastian Priaulx to race with Ford EcoBoost power in 2018 F4 British Championship

25 OCTOBER, 2017 – Sebastian Priaulx, son of triple World Touring Car Champion and Ford GT driver Andy Priaulx MBE, has agreed terms with Arden in a deal to contest the 2018 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost.

The announcement comes just weeks after the curtain fell on a stellar campaign for the 16-year-old. It saw him crowned Ginetta Junior vice-champion with 13 podiums, including seven victories. Four wins out of five races in the space of two meetings a particular highlight, along with an unrivalled tally of eight pole positions.

“It’s a great feeling to have my 2018 plans confirmed,” said a thrilled Priaulx. “We’ve got a very exciting year ahead of us racing with Arden in the F4 British Championship.

“It’s a prestigious series with manufacturer backing from Ford and with my Dad driving for the Ford GT team it’s really cool.

“To make the step up to single-seaters and race in British F4 is a real milestone in my career. It’s always been my aim to live the single-seater dream. Winning in British F4 opens doors and it is the starting point for Formula 1.”

Garry Horner, Arden CEO and team principal, added: “We are delighted to have Seb joining our team at Arden. We have admired his dedication and ability throughout the previous season and are looking forward to a successful year in Formula 4.”

Priaulx began karting aged eight and rapidly became a multiple champion in Cadet, Mini Max and Junior Max classes.

Aged 15 he added a Ginetta Junior Winter Series title to his name. This followed a Ginetta Junior Championship campaign in 2016 which saw him take a victory and two pole positions in his rookie season.

Priaulx will be hoping to emulate FIA British Formula 4 Champions Lando Norris and Jamie Caroline, who both triumphed in Ginetta Juniors before making the step up to the UK’s leading single-seater series.

“2017 was a bit of a strange season with everything that happened with Ginetta and having to switch teams part way through the campaign,” explained Priaulx. “It was all out of my control and I just focused on performing at my best.

“I walked away as vice-champion, my head held high and proud of what I achieved. Now I’m aiming to win the British F4 title.

“Racing in single-seaters is going to be a new challenge for me. There’s a lot to learn. I’m excited for what lies ahead as I work towards my goal of race victories and hopefully a title tilt.

“Having raced in Ginettas, which run alongside British F4 on the TOCA package, I know the tracks on the calendar well and that experience can help me.”

Sebastian’s father Andy has long extolled the importance of drivers gaining single-seater experience and developing an understanding of racing with slicks and wings; targeting British F4 as the series in which his son should make a single-seater debut. The move to British F4 the fruition of several years’ hard work.

“Every driver needs single-seater experience,” said Priaulx. “It’s so important.

“Looking at how British F4 has evolved over the last couple of seasons it’s clearly the place for young drivers to be. The cars look great, the competition is fierce and the TOCA package is really strong.

“A big part of becoming a professional racing driver is working with major brands and Ford is one of those. Ford’s commitment to motor racing gives Seb the chance to achieve great things in his career.

“I also drive for Ford so hopefully together we can win our respective races and championships. We want to take this opportunity to write a very special ‘Priaulx’ chapter in Ford’s history.”

For Sebastian, the target is clear: To secure the most coveted championship in British single-seater racing and the 12 FIA Super Licence points which go with it to propel him towards Formula 1.

At Arden he is well placed to achieve this. The Banbury based outfit head into 2018 after three consecutive years of fighting at the front in British F4. 2017 saw them duke it out for both the drivers’ and teams’ titles in the season finale and amass more podiums and pole positions than any other squad.

“Arden’s facilities are very impressive and all the staff are incredibly professional,” enthused Priaulx.

“When I visited the workshop I could get up close and personal with their Formula 2 cars. As a young driver it’s really inspiring to be able to see the next steps on the FIA single-seater pyramid right in front of you.

“Arden is a team that can take you from British F4 all the way up to Formula 2. They can give you the tools to succeed.”

In addition to drawing on the experience and expertise of the Arden team, Priaulx can rely on the support of sponsor 1st Central Insurance. A key player in the car insurance market, 1st Central have become an integral part of Priaulx’s fledgling career, a fact which is not lost on the Guernseyman.

“1st Central Insurance made it possible for me to race in 2017 and have played a crucial part in getting me on the British F4 grid. I’m over the moon to have them as a sponsor.

“To have the support of such a well-respected company gives me a lot of confidence. I want to keep performing, make them proud and have fun along the way.”

Priaulx and Arden’s F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost campaign will kick off at Brands Hatch on 7/8 April, 2018.

Arden come charging out the blocks with Red Bull Juniors Doohan and Hauger confirmed for 2018 British F4 campaign

18 OCTOBER, 2017 – Arden has announced two of its drivers for next year’s F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost, with Red Bull Junior Team members Jack Doohan and Dennis Hauger to race with the squad.

Having come close to taking the FIA British Formula 4 crown for three consecutive years, Arden has already begun to lay the foundations for its 2018 title bid.

Doohan and Hauger, two of the Red Bull Junior Team’s newest recruits, will make the step up from karting and begin their single-seater careers in the F4 British Championship. A series in which Garry Horner’s team have an enviable record of success.

Most recently, the Banbury outfit took Oscar Piastri to within touching distance of the crown in the 2017 season finale; on the back of a campaign which saw it record eight pole positions and 30 podiums – more than any other team. The team achieved 11 race wins, as well as a dominant 1-2-3 finish at Knockhill. A feat achieved by no other squad in 2017.

Doohan, son of five-time 500cc world champion and motorcycle legend Mick Doohan, has excelled on four wheels in his rise up the karting ranks.

The 14-year-old recently finished third in the CIK-FIA European Championship after becoming the first Australian in a quarter of a century to win a round in series; taking OK Junior class victory in the final round of the season.

More silverware was added to the Doohan family trophy cabinet in 2015 and 2016, when Jack won the Australian Kart Championship in the KA Junior and KA2 classes respectively.

Said Doohan: “I’m really looking forward to being part of the Arden team as a Red Bull Junior Driver in the 2018 F4 British Championship. To drive for a team as well-respected and successful as Arden in 2018 is something I could have only dreamt of at the start of 2017 when I arrived in Europe to compete in karts. My experience gained in karts from the age of eight has provided me with a solid foundation, but it’s now time to take my motorsport career to the next level.”

Hauger is bidding to climb up the FIA single-seater pyramid to become Formula 1’s first Norwegian driver. He wasted no time making his mark in the world of karting, which began with his first win aged just eight-years-old.

The talented teenager became the youngest driver to compete in the CIK-FIA European Championship’s Senior OK category in 2017; following a record-breaking 2016 campaign in which he was crowned the youngest ever DKM OKJ German Champion and finished second in the WSK Super Masters.

Commented Hauger: “I really appreciate the opportunity that I have been given with Red Bull and Arden. This is the perfect combination that will give me the best setting to learn and grow as a driver, and to hopefully win races in my first season in single-seaters.

“I have followed Arden in British F4 and they are a very professional and strong team. I also had the pleasure of visiting the team to do some simulator driving. I was made to feel very welcome and they took excellent care of me in a very professional manner during those days. I’m really looking forward to the challenge and opportunity that is coming up.”

Said Arden team manager Ben Bloomfield: “It’s great to be part of the Red Bull Junior programme again, but also a privilege to be fielding two of the brightest and best from European Karting. Both Hauger and Doohan have been impressive in the CIK-FIA European Championship and CIK-FIA European Junior Championship respectively so they will push each other hard next year.”

2018 F4 British Championship calendar announced

5 JUNE, 2017 – The provisional calendar for the 2018 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost has been announced. Next season’s instalment of the UK’s leading junior single-seater series will once again see Ford’s EcoBoost-powered stars do battle at the UK’s finest race circuits.

The Indy circuit of Brands Hatch remains the curtain-raiser on 7/8 April, followed by Donington Park which has been moved back a week. Thruxton, Oulton Park and Croft are all now two weeks later, shortening the summer break.

The season recommences at Snetterton at the end of July before heading to Rockingham which has swapped places in the schedule with Knockhill. The latter taking place on 25/26 August to coincide with the late summer Bank Holiday weekend; ahead of the final meetings of the season at the home of the British Grand Prix Silverstone, and the finale at the GP configuration of Brands Hatch on 29/30 September.

The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost will be contested over 30 races in 2018 as the sole single-seater support series to the UK’s premier motorsport package, the live televised British Touring Car Championship. It will see some of motorsport’s brightest young talents compete for the prestigious title of FIA British Formula 4 Champion and coveted Super Licence points to enable their progression up the FIA single-seater pyramid.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

2018 Provisional Calendar

Rounds           Date                                          Circuit, County
1,2,3                Sat 7/Sun 8 April                         Brands Hatch (Indy), Kent
4,5,6                Sat 28/Sun 29 April                      Donington Park, Leics
7,8,9                Sat 19/Sun 20 May                      Thruxton, Hampshire
10,11,12           Sat 9/Sun 10 June                       Oulton Park, Cheshire
13,14,15           Sat 23/Sun 24 June                     Croft, North Yorkshire
16,17,18           Sat 28/Sun 29 July                      Snetterton, Norfolk
19,20,21           Sat 11/Sun 12 August                  Rockingham, Northants
22,23,24           Sat 25/Sun 26 August                  Knockhill, Fife
25,26,27           Sat 15/Sun 16 September            Silverstone, Northants
28,29,30           Sat 29/Sun 30 September            Brands Hatch (Grand Prix), Kent