CAMS confirms seven-round calendar for its 2017 Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship.
Perth Formula 4 pilots Nick Rowe (AGI Sport) and Team BRM’s Jordan Love finished the season second and third respectively, behind 2016 champion Will Brown (Team BRM).
To increase track time and minimise travel for crews, the seven rounds are scheduled across six events at Virgin Australia Supercars Championship and Shannons Nationals events.
The month of May sees the Championship race across the west and east of Australia. Barbagallo Raceway hosts an Australian Formula 4 round for the first time, supporting the Supercars Perth SuperSprint 5-7 May, before the series returns to Phillip Island as part of the Shannons Nationals.
Further Supercars support rounds are at Queensland Raceway, Sydney Motorsport Park and then concluding at the world’s only Formula 4 street race on the Gold Coast.
“The 2017 calendar is a great opportunity for Australian Formula 4 drivers to enjoy ample track time to develop their race craft and display their talents in front of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship and Shannons Nationals paddocks,” CAMS General Manager of Motor Sport Michael Smith said.
“The opening round at Sandown will see Round One and Two take place over one weekend. This maximises track time for our drivers to learn and develop, but also helps us expand the calendar without increasing cost to competitors.”
Round 1 & 2: Sandown Raceway, VIC (Shannons Nationals) 7–9 April
Round 3: Barbagallo Raceway, WA (Supercars) 5–7 May
Round 4: Phillip Island, VIC (Shannons Nationals) 26–28 May
Round 5: Queensland Raceway, QLD (Supercars) 28–30 July
Round 6: Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW (Supercars) 18–20 August
Round 7: Gold Coast, QLD (Supercars) 20–22 October
Cars Can Be Purchased Outright and Test Days Increased
As part of CAMS’ initial investment in 2015, 20 FIA Formula 4 cars were purchased by CAMS and then leased to entrants. The lease model remains in 2017, however, competitors now have the option to purchase an Australian Formula 4 car outright.
An Australian Formula 4 car will only be permitted for use within the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship.
“We are constantly looking at ways to make Australian Formula 4 an affordable championship for people to compete in. This alternative model is just one way of doing that,” Smith said.
“Purchasing a car outright is perhaps a more attractive prospect for single-car teams or those who want to own an asset such as a Formula 4 car as an alternative model to compete in our championship.”
The number of test days also increase, with a maximum of six pre-season and six in-season test days available. Teams will nominate a sole CAMS permitted track for the pre-season test.
This compares to only six test days, and two additional rookie days, available in 2016.
To further reinforce Australian Formula 4 as one of the world’s most affordable FIA Formula 4 championships, up to eight drivers are now eligible for CAMS Driver Development Scholarship Loans – valued up to $38,500.
Entrants that opt to lease a car and have it prepared by a team can expect running costs at approximately $165,000, with a Scholarship Loan reducing this cost to approximately $126,000.
Four drivers will soon be announced as part of the recently relaunched CAMS Foundation Rising Star program. Two rookies and elite drivers will be selected and granted scholarships valued at $50,000 to compete in the 2017 CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship.
“The scholarships demonstrate the importance CAMS places on driver development in Australia, with our alumni from the past two seasons attracting plenty of interest in Australia and overseas,” Smith said.
“We certainly encourage anybody who is looking at Formula 4 in next season to get in touch with us, and we will provide as much support and information as possible to help drivers make that step from karting or state level racing into Formula 4.”
Alumni from the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship include 2015 Champion Jordan Lloyd who recently completed a season in USF2000, British Formula 3 and British Racing Drivers’ Club Rising Star driver Thomas Randle, multiple British Formula 4 race winner Zane Goddard and Red Bull Junior Team driver Luis Leeds.
The 2016 CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship concluded on the Gold Coast in October, with Team BRM’s Will Brown securing the championship ahead of AGI Sport’s Nick Rowe and Team BRM teammate Jordan Love.
DREAM Motorsport’s Simon Fallon claimed rookie honours as the 2016 Burson Auto Parts Rookie of the Year, after edging ahead of Team BRM’s Josh Denton in the final race of the year.
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