Type R-Engined Formula 3 Car Breaks Cover at F1 Race
Honda-powered formula series that will offer driver development makes public debut at Circuit of the Americas.
Honda Performance Development took the wraps off its newest race car, a Ligier Crawford-built Formula 3 chassis, at the Circuit of Americas on October 19. The open-wheel car looks great and should be a modern training tool for the United States’ next top drivers.
The car features what are likely the next generation of driver-protection features. That means an F1-style halo and an improved seating position. With a higher footbox and sidepods, more of the driver’s body should be protected from debris and other intrusions.
Behind the driver sits a turbocharged Honda K20C engine, the same used in the 2017 Civic Type R. A production engine means reduced costs and with a supremely light chassis. Additionally, the 270-horsepower version should last better and produce ample performance for driver development.
Like the U.S. Formula 4 Championship – which uses a naturally aspirated K20 in its cars – the F3 Americas series offers a learning opportunity and a place for talent-scouting.
The Formula 3 series will give an alternative to the Mazda Road to Indy. Ideally, that casts an eye toward Europe and, eventually, Formula 1. The current Formula 4 championship in the United States drew good numbers in 2017 and should feed into the 2018 F3 Americas series.
At the moment, several countries and regions have their own F3 championships. The FIA also has a European F3 Championship that typically runs with DTM in Germany. That series has recently produced F1 drivers Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz, Esteban Ocon, and Lance Stroll.
While the F3 Americas title will not likely be that same kind of direct pipeline, it does offer a more direct funnel into it. SCCA Pro Racing will operate the F3 Americas series.
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