Sunday, November 15, 2015

A new US racing series for 2016! 

On  November 12 the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) Pro Racing division announced the 2106 dates for the inaugural FIA-certified F4 United States Championship Powered by Honda. The world-wide Formula 4 championship was created in 2014 as a single-make category by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). F4 series races were held in 2015 in Australia, Italy, Japan, Britain, Europe, China, and Mexico.

 photo by the author 

The F4 United States Championship will make its debut at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut on May 27 & 28 together with the Pirelli World Challenge GT and GTS events. The next stop on the schedule will at the New Jersey Motorsports Park together with the SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series scheduled for June 10-12. 

The series then takes an extended break before racing on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 13-14 on a weekend highlighted by the SCCA Tran-Am NASCAR (national Association of Stock Car Racing) XFINITY Series. 

The SCCA says that mid-season breaks were built into the schedule to allow each team a chance to reset before making their push to end of the season. Teams can examine data from earlier races to optimize both car and driver for a chance to capture the inaugural series championship.

A month later, the F4 race weekend will be at Road Atlanta, September 17-18 shared with HSR’s (Historic Sports Car Racing) fall vintage weekend , before the season concludes at the   Homestead-Miami Speedway paired again with the SCCA Trans-Am Series on October 9-10.

Drivers get three hours of track time every race weekend, including two free practice sessions, one qualifying session and three races. Starting grids and point scoring are in accordance with global F4 series standards. Each race win pays $1,000, and the top points earner for the weekend wins $1,000.

An example of the new entry-level, cost-contained open wheel cars was on display at the Honda display at SEMA 2015 in Las Vegas Nevada.  According to the SCCA, the US series has generated significant interest since its September 2015 launch as the chassis manufacturer Crawford Composites, based in North Carolina run by new Zealand native Max Crawford) North Carolina has sent 92 purchase agreements to race teams, drivers, and driving schools.

photo by the author 

The American-built Crawford carbon-composite chassis will cost $45,000 each and will include a fixed aero package paddle shifters, data acquisition, and a camera. The cars will each be powered by Honda K20 C1 2.0-liter engine sourced from a European 2016 Honda Civic Type R. The Honda engine displaces two liters or 122 cubic inches, used double overhead camshafts and direct fuel injection. Each race engine will produce 158 horsepower, and will carry a one-year lease price of $6,600. 

photo by the author

Pirelli P Zero racing radial tires complete the package, which will be priced at approximately $250 apiece, with a maximum allotment of six tires (three front, three rear) per race weekend. The plan is for Crawford Composites to begin delivery of completed race cars to customers in January 2016.

Details and updates are available at

Information for this article was provided by Honda Performance Development and the SCCA. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Alfa Romeo 4C by Garage Italia Customs

Many “car guys”” wish they could attend the SEMA show in Las Vegas to see the fantastic custom cars built just for that show. It is a fair bet that even fewer “car guys" can attend the Dubai International Motor Show held at the Dubai World Trade Center from November 10 to 14, 2015 to view the wild cars that debut there.  As service to our readers, we are sharing photographs and the details of the Alfa Romeo 4C “La Furiosa" created for the Dubai show by Garage Italia Customs.

Garage Italia Customs is the new project of Lapo Elkann, the New York-born Italian entrepreneur and style icon and grandson of Giovanni Agnelli, the late chairman of Fiat Automobiles. Garage Italia Customs can match their customer’s favorite suit, dress, or any fashion accessory to any vehicle they desire.  Garage Italia Customs does not make performance modifications, rather their craftsmen restyles vehicles using techniques and sensibilities from the world of haute couture (high end one-of-a-kind fashion) to create exclusive "tailor-made" vehicles. 

Photograph of Garage Italia Customs headquarters courtesy of

So far, the staff at Garage Italia have customized more than seventy-five automobiles, motorcycles, sailboats, motorboats, and even airplanes.   Garage Italia Customs is based in the fashion capitol of Milan, Italy at the site of a unique Streamline Moderne design AGIP gasoline station designed by architect Mario Bacciocchi in 1952.

"La Furiosa" (The Furious in English) is described by Garage Italia as ’the result of the meeting between the “Mechanics of Emotions” and the Style Center together with the "Maestros" of Garage Italia Customs.

The car emphasizes the Alfa Romeo 4C’s wild style with a strong and extraordinary aesthetic impact. Special toned-down painting characterizes the exterior. The black carbon fiber roof gradually fades to “Accursio” red, the original opalescent tonality, with a “Velvet Touch” (matte) finish.


The interior of "La Furiosa" is finished entirely in red and black Alcantara, an Italian-made luxury fabric used for furniture, clothing and automobile upholstery which has the feel of suede. 

This article prepared with information and photographs provided by Burner Communications. 

Future articles on modern innovations in the automobile industry will be posted at my newest website,  "Triplett's Eye on Cars" at


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Justin Wilson named NMPA third quarter Spirit Award winner 

Justin Wilson, who passed away on August 24 from injuries suffered during the INDYCAR ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway, has been awarded the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Spirit Award for the third quarter of 2015 after a nationwide vote by its members. The NMPA Spirit award recognizes character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship, and contributions to motor sports.
The Sheffield, England native and resident of Longmont, Colorado was hit by debris from another car during the race. After his car struck a retaining wall inside the track, Wilson was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania where he passed one day after the crash. Justin Wilson, who died at just 37 years of age, helped save six lives as an organ donor.

Wilson, a seven-time winner over 12 seasons in open-wheel racing was diagnosed with dyslexia when he was 13 as he struggled with spelling and reading.  Justin was a true hero and leader in the dyslexic community, principally through his outreach efforts with the Dyslexia Institute of Indiana.  

Photo courtesy of the Dyslexia Institute of Indiana 

Portions of the information for this article were provided by the National Motorsports Press Association