Home Featured Introduction of second-generation FRegional chassis delayed to 2026

Introduction of second-generation FRegional chassis delayed to 2026

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: TGR NZ

The Formula Regional category’s second-generation chassis will not race until 2026, Formula Scout has learned.

Last year the World Motor Sport Council approved the introduction of new designs for the first quarter of 2025, but this timetable has now been put back 12 months with broad agreement from various championships and teams.

FRegional launched in 2018, and there are three chassis suppliers globally. Tatuus’s T-318, raced in the European and Middle East championships, has provided the basis for FRegional Oceania’s car and the non-FRegional-spec vehicles of Eurocup-3 and GB3.

The FIA Single-Seater Commission’s outgoing president Gian Carlo Minardi told Formula Scout that the “introduction of the second-generation [chassis] has been delayed” until 2026.

“COVID-19 caused a delay of two years in the homologation of the new car, but the car itself has already been designed,” he added. “All of the technical specifications have been fixed.”

R-ace GP team principal Thibaut de Merindol said that FREC’s organisers “asked us if we were happy to keep the [T-318] for one more year and I think all the teams said yes”, and that any difference in implementation timetables around the world “would have been a mess” as his team and several others race their their cars in FRME and FREC.

“What’s important is that all the FRegional championships introduce the new car in the same year, so I think this is now agreed. FREC is giving the tempo and wants to introduce the new car in ’26 so the Middle East and all the other championships will follow.”

Nicolas Caillol, motorsport manager for FRegional Oceania organiser Toyota Gazoo Racing New Zealand, told Formula Scout that discussions with the FIA and Tatuus regarding the design and cost of the new car “began about a year ago”.

Visually it should “follow the same trend that Formula 2 has gone, although not as radical because there is no DRS in FRegional”.

Tatuus’s second-generation chassis is therefore expected to follow the aerodynamic direction of Eurocup-3.

In addition to performance and safety improvements, Caillol said it should feature improved ergonomics “to be able to accommodate a wider range of driver profiles, short and tall, as well as women”.

His championship was keen to maximise the economic life of the current cars, given the “big investment” associated with introducing new designs.

“The FIA has been listening to the championships and has been cautious about the economics which are critical for every championship and every competitor,” he said.

“In New Zealand, we weren’t able to use the car for [one] year because of COVID-19. In terms of our investment and to get our money’s worth, having an extra year of usage was better for us. It was the same reaction from FREC, the US and Japan.”

Caillol expects an increase in the base price of around 20-25% compared to when the current cars were new, “to around €125,000-€130,000”. The decision to stick with Tatuus going forward was a “no-brainer” since it has provided chassis for FRegional Oceania and its Toyota Racing Series predecessor since 2005.