Thin field expected for CAMS F4 opener
The CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship is set for a thin field as it bids to secure a double figure grid for next weekend’s season opener at Symmons Plains.
The junior single seater series is embarking on its second year but has struggled to attract the numbers it desires with just eight drivers confirmed for the meeting, which is less than a week away.
In its inaugural season the championship battled to field a grid in the teens, with 13 the highest entry at Townsville and Queensland Raceway.
In a bid to increase numbers CAMS has reduced fees to contest the championship, while also introducing $50,000 scholarships last month for competitors aged 21 and under.
The championship is expected to release its entry list on Tuesday which could see the field extend to 11 if a couple of late deals can be completed.
New team Junior Racing Development is yet to unveil its second driver, while there is a possibility that DREAM Motorsport could return to the grid.
The field has been boosted by the signings of Jordan Love and Josh Denton, who will complete a four car roster for Team BRM, while Jordan McGregor, who ran selected rounds last season, will drive a car assisted by Harvest Motorsport.
Love is one of three drivers who featured in the series last year as five of the 2015 crop have since graduated to championships in Europe and America.
The category has also fielded interest from several drivers who are expected to compete in selected rounds.
Although admitting numbers are below its targets, category manager Cameron McConville says there are no fears the championship will fold due to a lack of competitors.
“There has been no demands made (from V8 Supercars with regard to grid numbers),” McConville told Speedcafe.com.
“We have a contractual agreement with V8 Supercars and they have been very supportive of the category.
“Whilst they have a show to deliver and run a commercial business, they are supportive and patient with us, so there is no risk or discussion about cancelling the round or anything like that.
“If we can get 10 or a 11 for the full season and one or two extra as the season goes on that is probably the best we can hope for.”
Despite widespread scepticism within the motorsport community, CAMS has reiterated its support of the championship which has been further boosted by a sizeable grant from the FIA.
“We are building,” CAMS CEO Eugene Arocca told Speedcafe.com prior to the Australian Grand Prix.
“We will continue to explore ways to make this more affordable. We have just got to make sure we continue to support it.
“The board is behind it and people have said to me ‘stay the course, it’s a great product’.
“If you get involved with a product you don’t expect to hit your straps in the first year, sometimes it takes two or three years to cement its position.
“For me it is an investment which will pay off.”
The opening round of the season will take place at the Tyrepower Tasmania 400 from April 1-3.
Confirmed CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 field to date
Brenton Grove (Team BRM)
Jordan Love (Team BRM)
Will Brown (Team BRM)
Josh Denton (Team BRM)
Jack Smith (AGI Sport)
Nick Rowe (AGI Sport)
Tyler Everingham (Junior Racing Development)
Jordan McGregor (Harvest Motorsport)