Written by Tom Evans, Edited by Morgan Holiday
What is GB4?
This sounds like a pretty obvious question on the surface, but dig a little deeper and it's quite interesting. To put it simply, MotorSport Vision Chief Executive Johnathan Palmer had a slight falling out with the well known and somewhat loved FIA. This fallout resulted in him making his own entry level single seater championship as a challenger to British F4 which is governed by the FIA. These are two completely different championships but very easy to mix up if you don't know the backstory. Now that we know the basics, let's jump right in.
Now a large majority of you will have heard of the Italian and ADAC formula 4 championships. These have been very successful and popular among racers looking to race abroad for the very first time, and to attract sponsors. Why am I bringing this up? Well, this newly founded GB4 championship will use the previous generation of Chassis that those championships used, the Tatuus F4-t014. This a very recognisable car to most feeder series fans, making it a great starting point for a new championship, despite complaints from a few teams about temperamental handling.
The GB4 car pictured at its first major test, via MSV
So far, GB4 has hit the ground running, with 11 teams ready to race in 2022 in the span of 4ish months. Yes 11 teams!! This is brilliant, as more teams makes for a much more entertaining and competitive championship. From larger more well known outfits such as JHR, Fortec and Arden, to the lesser known grassroots teams e.g. Kevin Mills Racing and Oldfield Motorsports. Normally most single seater championships are out of reach for these smaller teams, but the cheaper (ish) nature of this championship makes it easier for them to compete.
This is where this championship pulls out all the stops. As quoted from the BG4 website:
"GB4 will offer drivers the chance to contest a full season of competitive single-seater racing in Britain for budgets from around £60,000 for a privateer to an anticipated £120,000 to £150,000 running with a professional team."
This definitely isn't cheap, but it's certainly cheap for a full season of single seater Motorsport! A private entry will cost roughly the same amount as a Ginetta Junior entry, offering a different style of racing for a similar price. And with a professional team, it'll cost about £100,000 less than the equivalent British F4 entry. This means that price won’t be as massive of a problem as it is in other series, leading to only the best crop of talent competing. It’s a serious statement of intent from MSV, and we'll have to see if these prices will actually be accurate.
This is a fairly obvious one, but this championship will follow GB3 around the country for its inaugural season. Three races will take place across eight rounds in the UK at its most famous venues including Brands Hatch and Donnington. These are FIA grade 3 and above tracks, making them perfect for this new championship.
Testing is another area that trumps British F4's offering. If you are 16 or under (which most of the drivers are) all you need is an MSA racing license and around £700 ($1000) for an afternoon’s worth of testing. This means it is a relatively affordable way for newer drivers to practise, and to experience a single seater race car which is often unattainable for lots of young racers.
Kevin Mills Racing GB4 car, via GB4 Championship
I haven't been this excited for the beginning of a new season for quite some time! Overall it's looking to be a great season with some exciting racing! See you in April!
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