Event Program: 2023 VIR SpeedTour

Race Preview: F4 U.S. Championship / FR Americas

Andy Scriven Memorial at the VIR SpeedTour

Season Coming Down to the Wire at VIR
The Andy Scriven Memorial weekend at the VIR SpeedTour will mark Rounds 13-15 of the 18-round 2023 season for Formula Regional Americas Championship Powered by Honda (FR Americas) and Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda (F4 U.S.). The 3.27-mile VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) played a pivotal role in last year’s championship drama, as both of the eventual champions in FR Americas and F4 U.S. started their weekend with a “DNF,” scoring zero points to ensure a tight battle as the series entered the final round of the season. Will this year be the same? Only time will tell.

It is sure to be an action-packed weekend at the VIR SpeedTour as FR Americas and F4 U.S. join Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA), the Trans Am Series, Prototype Sprint Series Association, International GT, OPTIMA’s Search For The Ultimate Street Car and the Hagerty Cars and Caffeine Car Show in a weekend that has something for everyone. Tickets for the event are on sale now at VIRnow.com.

Remembering Andy Scriven
This weekend, FR Americas and F4 U.S. will honor the late Andy Scriven, chief designer at Ligier Automotive North America, and designer of the Ligier JS F416 and the Ligier JS F3. Scriven passed away in December 2017 due to complications from injuries sustained in a traffic accident while riding his bicycle. This year we will pay tribute to Scriven’s legacy as the new Ligier JS F422 makes its on-track debut at an FR Americas/F4 U.S. event.

Scriven embraced the goal of a cost-effective entry to formula cars, and went hunting for a clever way to make racing increasingly accessible. He was vested in ensuring the cars were safe, working together with the FIA on the latest safety studies and regulations, and both the driver fitment and mechanical packaging on the new Ligier JS F422 strongly carry his influence. As said by Christopher Lowe, Motorsport Manager, North America for Ligier, “You’ll find Scrivy’s influence throughout not only the car, but also in all the team members that have worked so hard to bring this car to life.”

PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship Recipients Highlighted
Continuing our celebration of women in motorsports, Hannah Greenemeier (No. 74 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4) and Ava Dobson (No. 21 Jay Howard Driver Development / CSU One Cure / Lucas Oil / LHP Ligier JS F4), two of this year’s PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship recipients, will join racing icon and the 1992 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, Lyn St. James, and Trans Am’s Michele Abbate for a special “Women in Motorsports” Autograph Session on Saturday afternoon. The session will be held from 3:30-4:00 p.m. at the Petty’s Garage display in the North Paddock.

Meet The Drivers
Fans will have various opportunities to meet the drivers of FR Americas and F4 U.S. this weekend at VIR. In addition to roaming through the open paddocks, fans are invited to attend a pre-race fan walk leading into F4 U.S. Race 2 on Saturday afternoon. Scheduled to begin at 1:10 p.m., fans can collect autographs and swag handed out by several drivers, as well as a complimentary FR Americas/F4 U.S. series poster. 

Watch This Weekend’s Races FREE on YouTube
Fans at home will be able to watch this weekend’s FR Americas and F4 U.S. races free on social media, with streaming available on the SpeedTourTV YouTube page. FR Americas will stream Races 1 and 2 (10:30 a.m. ET and 4:45 p.m. ET, respectively) on Saturday, and Race 3 (11:50 a.m. ET) on Sunday. Likewise, F4 U.S. will stream Races 1 and 2 (8:40 a.m. ET and 1:55 p.m. ET, respectively) on Saturday, followed by Race 3 (9:35 a.m. ET) on Sunday. Be sure to subscribe and click the bell icon to turn on notifications for the channel to receive an alert any time SpeedTourTV goes live.

FR Americas

Racing for a SUPER FORMULA Scholarship
With nine wins this season, including two in the series’ last outing at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP), Callum Hedge (No. 17 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F3) continues to lead the championship standings. However, he is still among four drivers who remain mathematically eligible to take the title. Oliver Westling (No. 1 JENSEN Ligier JS F3) secured his first-career win in FR Americas at NJMP to keep his championship hopes alive; he currently ranks fourth, 136 points behind the leader. Cooper Becklin (No. 19 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F3) is 98 points out of the lead in third. With a best finish of second, Becklin’s series-leading 11 podium finishes in 12 races have kept him in the title hunt. After winning the first two races of the 2023 season, Ryan Shehan (No. 66 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F3) remains in the battle for the championship, just 55 points behind the leader.

Hedge’s goal for the weekend is simple—leave VIR with at least a 75-point gap to clinch the 2023 FR Americas Championship and earn the scholarship from Honda Performance Development and Honda Racing Corporation to compete in the 2024 SUPER FORMULA season. Valued at up to $600,000, the scholarship covers a substantial portion of the cost to run a full season, and includes an engine supply to run with a Honda-powered team selected by Honda.

Stack Advances to FR Americas
Everett Stack (No. 2 JENSEN Ligier JS F3) will make his FR Americas debut this weekend at VIR with JENSEN. A regular in F4 U.S. competition this season, Stack has been engaged in an extensive test program on the Ligier JS F3 car to get acclimated to the car’s increased power and aerodynamic differences. The 16-year-old looks to get a jump on his 2024 season, when he plans to compete full time in FR Americas with JENSEN.

Janzen’s Back!
Kevin Janzen (No. 24 US Power Group Ligier JS F3) returns to the FR Americas grid, fighting back from a health scare that caused him to miss both Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and NJMP. His return comes at a track where he’s found past success, visiting Victory Lane with SCCA’s Formula Atlantic Division.

Hedge Raising Awareness for Muscular Dystrophy
The latest ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association of New Zealand (MDA), Callum Hedge is supporting more than just an important cause, he’s also supporting his two nephews who were recently diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy—a progressive muscle wasting condition that affects approximately one out of every 3,600 baby boys born. Just last week he was part of the foundation’s annual Roll 1k for MDA fundraiser, adding horsepower to the event and giving some lucky prize winners a hot lap around Hampton Downs’ Club Circuit in the Hampton Downs Lamborghini Huracán.

F4 U.S.

FR Americas Scholarship on the Line
While only six races remain, the 2023 F4 U.S. Driver Championship title is still in hot pursuit with 11 drivers still mathematically eligible to take the prize. Patrick Woods-Toth (No. 27 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4) currently leads the championship charge, but he’s trailed by a trio of drivers who each won a round during the series’ last outing at NJMP. Michael Costello (No. 19 Jay Howard Driver Development / CSU One Cure / Lucas Oil / LHP Ligier JS F4) is second in points, just 36.5 points back after winning Round 11 at NJMP. Titus Sherlock (No. 31 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4) secured two podiums at NJMP—including his first-career F4 U.S. win in Round 11. The weekend was enough to move him from fifth to third in the standings, just 66.5 points behind the leader. Currently fourth is sophomore driver Alex Berg (No. 08 MySim.ca / Rohde & Liesenfeld / Easy Drift / Penn Elcom Online / Dae Systems Ligier JS F4). Securing his first-career F4 U.S. win in Round 12 at NJMP, Berg currently sits 69 points behind the leader.

At the conclusion of the season, the 2023 F4 U.S. Champion will be given the opportunity to move to FR Americas in 2024 with support from Ligier Automotive, Hankook Tires and Parella Motorsports Holdings. In addition, the champion will also receive $25,000 from Honda Performance Development, along with several other prizes.

Ligier JS F422 on Track
The new Ligier JS F422 will officially hit the track this weekend at VIR. Having already logged 3,600 kilometers in testing, this will be the first time that the Ligier JS F422 and its Ligier Storm power will be showcased during an FR Americas/F4 U.S. event weekend. The car will be driven by New Zealander Ryan Yardley, a two-year veteran of FR Americas and last year’s fourth-place points finisher. Look for it on track during SVRA competition with Groups 5a/7/9/11/PSSA. 

Tyke Durst Racing Near Home
Tyke Durst (No. 17 Gonella Racing Ligier JS F4) will have the advantage of the home crowd this weekend at VIR. While currently enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering Technologies program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Durst’s home address is in Cary, N.C.—just 65 miles from VIR. The 20-year-old heads to VIR after having spent last weekend with new partner FHI (Freight Handlers, Inc.) at the CSCMP Edge Supply Chain Conference in Orlando where his racecar was on display.

Photo by Gavin Baker Photography