Race Class Profile: Formula 1000

By Bradley Iger

July 30, 2014

photos courtesy of Robert Bowe
Formula 1000, also known as USF1000, is an open wheel SCCA race class. Powered by 1000cc motorcycle engines and utilizing full racing aerodynamics, chassis tuning, suspension and brakes, the single seat USF1000 cars are capable of reaching speeds in excess of 150 miles per hour. While the 190 horsepower generated by these motors might not immediately grab the attention of some racers, when it's installed in a race-ready car that weights 1000 pounds (with the driver in it), some quick math should indicate that Formula 1000 cars have a fairly impressive power-to-weight ratio. As one of the fastest growing formula car classes in the United States with more active car builders than any other open wheel class in the world, the Formula 1000 series attracts experienced amateur racers who're serious about going fast.
Sanctioning Bodies:
Race Format: Sprint
Typical Race Length: 30-35 minutes, approximately 50 miles
  • 1000cc motorcycle engines. The most commonly used is the 2007-08 Suzuki GSX-R1000, along with similar 1000cc motors from Kawasaki, BMW, Honda, and Yamaha.
Output: 180-190 horsepower
Weight: 1000lbs (with driver)
Data System: Unrestricted
Chassis Construction: Tubular frame chassis
Suspension Adjustability:
  • Full adjustability. Geometry and dampers open. Cockpit-adjustable anti-roll bars are permitted. Only limitations are envelope size and material (ferrous). Spring rates are open but springs must be steel. 
Tires: Drivers are permitted to race on any Hoosier tire / compound
Aero: Front and rear wings, flat bottom and rear diffuser
Constraints: Two way communications systems are prohibited
Car Cost: $55,000 (new, race ready) / approximately $35,000 used
Typical Car Count Range: 10-12 per race, 15 at 2012 Runoffs, 21 at 2013 Runoffs
Participation Growing or Declining: Growing
Strongest Regions:
Weekend Run Cost:
  • Tires - At least one set per weekend (~$1000/set)
  • Engine - Should last 1-3 seasons between rebuilds
  • Fuel - Approximately 15 gallons per race weekend
  • Brakes - Rotors last 1-2 seasons ($150/ea), pads half a season ($100/ea, four pads per axle)
  • Entry Fees - About $500 per weekend 
Based on the factors above, a race weekend should range between $1500 to $3000 (largely depending on tire usage) including entry fees. Lodging and transport costs are not included here and should also be considered.
Crossover Classes:
  • SCCA Sports Prototype 1 and Sports Prototype 2 (with modification) 
Record Lap Times/Tracks:
  • Watkins Glen International - 1:47.569 (Jeremy Hill)
  • Road Atlanta - 1:19.660 (J.R. Osborne)
  • Road America - 2:04.786 (Lawrence Loshak)
  • Virginia International Raceway - 1:48.852 (Alex Mayer)
  • Sebring - 2:05.789 (J.R. Osborne)
  • Portland International Raceway - 1:10.900 (Larry Vollum)
  • Mid-Ohio -1:22.776 (Justin Pritchard) 
Example shops providing support:
Shops Providing Arrive & Drive Rental:
Here's a clip onboard the RF99 Novak/Van Diemen Suzuki at the 2012 SCCA Runoffs at Road America, showing what the car is capable of on a high speed track and the intensity of an F1000 race with a high car count: