The Honda Powered Formula Regional Americas Championship season comes to a close this weekend (October 23-25) as the drivers take to the famed Circuit of The Americas for a tripleheader finale.
While the championship was originally slated to support the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix this weekend (full event canceled due to COVID-19), the FR Americas drivers will still carry the spirt of the event with them, utilizing the same 3.427-mile, 20-turn track and garages as their F1 heroes.
Linus Lundqvist (FR Americas) clinched the championship three rounds early, securing a scholarship to ascend up the Honda-powered racing ladder, but the runner-up placings remain strongly contested.
“I am really looking forward to getting in the car on Friday at Circuit of The Americas,” said FR Americas driver James Roe Jr. “It’s a new track for me so that adds an extra element of excitement for sure. The track looks extremely technical with many sweeping corners and fast sections. It is a shame that we are not competing alongside the Formula One World Championship as part of the United States Grand Prix but once I have the helmet on, it is all about speed and results. We hope to end out the year on a positive note and will be aiming to build momentum towards 2021.”
He may have sealed an early FR Americas Championship title and the convenient Honda scholarship to graduate into Indy Lights for 2021, but that has done little to quench Linus Lundqvist’s thirst for success. The champion-elect wants to bow out in style as Formula Regional Americas draws to a close this weekend in Texas. (Driver Standings)
With three races remaining in the season, Lunqvist has the opportunity to tie inaugural champion Kyle Kirkwood’s win record of 15 victories in a season. Both FR champions will face off in Indy Lights in 2021.
“It’s great to have sealed the title prematurely, and it does put me in a more comfortable position with less pressure this weekend,” said Global Racing Group top rookie Lundqvist. “That, however, does not mean for a second that I’m planning to hold back! I want to finish this season off in the best way possible, both for myself and for my team, and the target is clearly to win more races.”
Second place in the championship remains undecided as HMD Motorsports rookie David Malukas holds a 61-point advantage over Newman Wachs Racing pilot Victor Franzoni.
Malkuas broke Lundqvist’s eight consecutive win streak at Sebring and then repeated that success in Homestead the following week with his second victory of the season. Malukas is the only other driver to top the podium this season.
Franzoni has finished half the season on the podium, with his best result at Sebring with a pair of second-place finishes. To reel in the Vice Championship, Franzoni must secure a win at CoTA.
”I am very excited for the last race of the year,” said Franzoni. “It will be my first time driving at COTA, so I’m eager to see what this track looks like from behind the wheel. It’s been an amazing year and I really hope we can get the win in this round.”
Grabbing podiums and adding to his championship points slotted Nicky Hays into fourth place. While the Vice Championship is out of reach, it’s still mathematically possible for the GRG rookie to finish as high as third in the season-long standings.
Reigning F4 U.S. champion Joshua Car and Jacob Abel are tied for fifth, with Car holding the tiebreaker with his three second place finishes in Virginia.
For a dozen of the FR Americas drivers this weekend it’s their first time competing at CoTA in an FR car, but that’s not the case for Jacob Abel. Abel fielded the seconded entry for Abel Motorsports in 2018 in the USGP, just missing the podium with a fourth-place result. This weekend he’s aiming to close out the season on top, using his experience to his advantage.
“I’m excited to be going back to CoTA,” Abel said. “It’ll be my second race weekend in the FR Americas car there, so we should have a bit of an advantage. It’s been a bit of a blur. We’re hoping to unload a really good race car and make the most of the weekend. It’ll be a tough fight but I think we can bring home some strong results.”
HMD Motorsports added Marco Kacic to its lineup for the season finale, joining its squad of Malukas, Logan Cusson and Kyffin Simpson.
While the upcoming weekend will be Kacic’s debut FR Americas event, the Canadian driver has been training with HMD since the beginning of the season, completing a series of private tests with the team in the Ligier JS F3 chassis.
“I am excited to join HMD Motorsports for the final event of 2020,” expressed Marco Kacic. “To watch their success this season with David Malukas, Logan Cusson and Kyffin Simpson, I am ecstatic to be part of HMD.”
Other notable entries from the competitive field are James Roe Jr., Dario Cangialosi and Jordan Missig who are set to end their seasons strong.
The drivers will participate in a pair of practice sessions on Friday before heading into qualifying late on Saturday morning. The first race of the tripleheader event will be run on Saturday afternoon (3:15 pm) while the second and third races will hit the track on Sunday (10:50 am / 2:35 pm). Live timing and scoring will be available on the series website (www.framericas.com) and both live video coverage and live timing of the races can be enjoyed on http://www.fanracing.live.