The national Investchem Formula 1600 single-seater championship starts their exciting 2017 season at Killarney on Saturday, March 25, as part of the Extreme Festival. This is the first of an eight-round championship that takes the open-wheel competitors around the country.
For the new season there has been an exciting update for the championship, bringing the Investchem Formula 1600 series right up to date – without compromising any of the driving characteristics that have made this series such a favourite amongst competitors for decades.
“Changes to the Investchem Formula 1600s for this year provide a modern appearance and help to bring the series right up to date,” says Ian Schofield of Investchem. “These updates will help to catch the eye of younger racers in karting looking for their opportunity in national circuit competition without compromising the unique nature of single-seater racing. This series is about the driver, the driving experience and coaxing the very best out of the race car.”
The Investchem Formula 1600 drivers will not be relying on downforce to keep up the pace this season – the updated appearance is not an aid to competition, they will be working just as hard as ever to maintain their pace around the track.
They will be working hard too, for very good reason. The engines in the Investchem Formula 1600 series are sealed, which means teams cannot tweak their internals, so races have to be won purely on driver ability – and there’s prize money at stake.
“The visual update was aimed at bringing the appearance of the Investchem Formula 1600 up to a global standard,” says Schofield. “The prize money involved from this year has a two-fold purpose. It acts as an incentive for racers to deliver their best – and it also helps to subsidise their racing costs.”
Another change for this season is the introduction of a new tyre. This sees the Investchem Formula 1600 field change to a more hard-wearing tyre, reducing the number of tyres needed over the eight race meetings this season.
With Dewald Brummer, the 2016 champion, not racing this season it blows the championship wide open to all contenders. With Brummer out of the picture, the early focus will be on Julian van der Watt and Dean Venter as the obvious duo to make an early bid for the lead – having finished in the top three last year.
There’s no guarantee, though, with anything likely to happen when the racers take the start line on Saturday morning. With a grid of 17 entries for the first round already in place, the beginning of the new season is going to be an action-packed adventure.