AutoReject World Series
|AutoReject World Series|
|Engine supplier(s)|| Audi|
|Tyre supplier(s)|| |
|Driver's Champion||Terry Hawkin|
|Constructor's Champion||Dunlop Melrose Racing Team|
|Records||List of AutoReject World Series Records|
|Rules||Chassis & Engine List|
The AutoReject World Series or ARWS (formerly F1 Rejects World Race Series) is a top-tier open wheel motorsport championship created by the Zimmer brothers as a break-away series from F1 and currently run by Daniel Prieto. To date, nine seasons have been completed with pre-season testing about to begin for 2019. 2014 was also the first season which was run in conjunction with the F2RWRS and the F3RWRS, the official feeder categories of the series. After the series was rebranded in 2018, AutoReject 3.5 and AutoReject 2.0 became the official feeder categories for the series.
Early Years: 2010-2012
The series was formed after the 2009 Formula One season when Frank Zimmer was under pressure from the Brawn F1 team, who eventually fired him before the season came to a close. He, along with older brother John and the help of several disgruntled manufacturers, frustrated at the way Formula One was being run, formed the series as a cheaper alternative to Formula One as the premier International Open Wheeler category. The series quickly gained a reputation as a series to watch as several ex-Formula One drivers joined the series as drivers, most notably three time world champion Daniel Melrose and British veteran Sammy Jones. In all 19 drivers in 10 teams competed in the inaugural season. Melrose was later replaced by fellow world champion Chris Dagnall as he was forced to sit out while recovering from dental surgery before eventually deciding to focus on securing his fifth Formula One championship. After a closely fought out season the championship was won by Gary Cameron despite having not won a race all season.
2011 was all change for the series in terms of team and driver lineups with the most significant changes being Sammy Jones creating his own team with himself and Dagnall as drivers and Holden entering the series with John Zimmer. The mid-season also brought many changes with it. On the championship front it was a punch-counter punch battle between defending F1 champ Melrose and British driver Nathanael Spencer where both drivers took the initiative at different points of the season. In the end Spencer won the title when neither driver scored points at the season ending race at Laguna Seca. This marked the last time any of the 10 founding teams from 2010 won either championship.
2012 turned out to be the final season to be run under the original F1 Rejects Council based in Sydney. Another former Formula One World Champion in the form of Chris Dagnall was in the hunt for the championship along with German Kay Lon and another British driver in Pippa Mann. The championship battle remained tight amongst the three drivers before Mann won it with a 4th place at the season ending Budweiser 500, a race won by her stablemate in the Mann Racing fraternity Hagane Shizuka. The "Bud 500" has since become the marque race of the season. The F1RWRS scored another major coup over Formula One in the meantime as they managed to snare the defending F1 champ for the second year in a row, this time in the form of four time champion Rhys Davies.
Revolution and Reform: 2013-2017
Halfway through 2012 there was a notion to move the F1 Rejects Council to Europe, specifically Madrid, Spain with new F1RC president Daniel Prieto. Prieto brought in many reforms designed to consolidate the F1RWRS as the fastest growing motorsport category anywhere in the world. Furthermore, Prieto put the F1RWRS under the control of a new controlling entity, the F1RWRS Commission, also under his lead. The reforms, the technical regulations especially, were met with criticism, particularly from Sammy Jones but they were met with praise as well from the likes of Melrose, Dagnall and HRT boss Mark Skaife. On track the Dagnall Engineering team dominated proceedings in the race despite not being quite on the pace in qualifying. Mark Dagnall, son of Chris, won the championship after a record breaking season as the new regulations increased the gap between the front and the back of the field substantially. The season was marred by the death of Scotsman Dave McFaste at the Chinese Grand Prix after a mid-race accident. For this season the "Bud 500" was a non-championship race where drivers were now competing for the Dan Wheldon Memorial Trophy, in honour of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon. Former F1 Driver Jack Christopherson won the race in his first ever drive in the series after the Foxdales hit problems, a common theme for the Foxdale squad over the course of the year.
2014 saw the revival of Melrose Racing Team after the team had a horrific 2013 season. Despite continual problems with the all new BMW turbo engine, the M5 was the car to beat with Nathanael Spencer and Dagnall amongst a whole raft of early contenders as the two Englishmen tried to become the first ever repeat champion in the series. As the season progressed, Spencer fell out of championship contention and out of favour with MRT as it eventually became a straight two-horse fight between Dagnall and Spencer's teammate Phillippe Nicolas. The title was eventually won by Dagnall in the penultimate race of the season, making him the first repeat champion in the process. Off-track and the teams formed the Formula 1 Rejects Teams Association, initially led by caretaker president Daniel Melrose before Jones Racing boss Sammy Jones was voted in almost unanimously by the team owners at the German GP. The F1RTA was formed as the team's united voice on issues concerning the F1RWRS and the rules and regulations of the series. A new trophy was also announced during the off-season with the Dave McFaste Cup now awarded to the winner of the Chinese Grand Prix, in honour of McFaste who was killed at the race the previous year. The Bud 500 for 2014 was re-formatted into two twin 250 mile races in order to improve the spectacle and to better accommodate the F2RWRS season finale. The changes however didn't stop Jack Christopherson winning his second straight Bud 500 for Jones Racing and the Dan Wheldon Memorial Trophy for the second year in a row.
The build-up to the 2015 was filled with even more rule changes and reforms in order to level up the playing field, including the banning of turbocharged and supercharged engines. Many of the changes meant that the pre-season title race suddenly opened up with names such as Gillet ENB and Jones Racing, now the official Ford works team, being thrown up as possible title contenders. The competition with Formula 1 had also escalated at this point, and both categories were fighting for audiences across the world through a number of rules changes. Teams and drivers began to diversify their interests between both series, culminating in Chris Dagnall's DGNgineering team moving across to Formula 1 at the end of the year after purchasing the McLaren team. Mark Dagnall claimed a third title, despite making a mid-season switch to MRT in preparation for a full season.
By 2016, the engine formula had been equalised even further and gave chances to the teams traditionally at the rear of the grid chances to move up the grid; the F1RWRS commission had identified the need for greater unpredictability in races and thus had limited the number of engine suppliers available. Jones Racing and Aeroracing Engineering remained at the front of the order, and were joined by Alessandro Linari's Scuderia Alitalia team who became the works Renault team after a public breakup with former engine suppliers Lancia. Alitalia's drivers Ron Mignolet and Nathanael Spencer were firmly in the hunt for the drivers' title, but the near-metronomic consistency of Jones' Rhys Davies saw the Australian sweep to the title despite only taking one race win all year. Mark Dagnall's switch to MRT failed to pay off, as the BMW-powered M7 chassis suffered from horrific unreliability whilst Dagnall himself was remarkably wayward in his driving.
Dagnall's hopes were bolstered in 2017 after taking Davies' seat at Jones; the Australian moved to endurance racing after winning his title. There were other changes near the front, as Dagnall would be partnered by F2RWRS champion Diego Álvarez Torrente. After being imprisoned for assault, Alessandro Linari sold Scuderia Alitalia to Jérémy-Étienne Voeckler, who rebranded the team as Voeckler GPE and initially retained the original lineup. The early lead of the championship was taken by neither team, but by Aeroracing's Alexey Buyvolov; the Russian had impressed many with his drives with the Dofasco Racing team in the previous year, and he emerged as the real breakout star of 2017. Although his championship challenge faded, he finished just two points behind Dagnall in the championship. Dagnall, however, was beaten by a surprise adversary; Voeckler let Ron Mignolet go and replaced him with compatriot Thomas De Bock, who was disillusioned with the fast-fading Gillet team. De Bock produced a consistent array of podiums to bring him into contention, and then proceeded to win three of the final six races to claim his first title.
The "AutoReject" Rebrand: 2018
During the 2017 off-season, the FIA and Reject World Federation produced a reworked single-seater ladder to underline clear feeder series for both F1 and F1RWRS. Previously, the IFRC and F1RDS commissions had merged to create AutoReject International, and would become AutoReject 3.5 and 2.0 respectively. Seeking a rebrand and an end to the expensive and long legal battle with Formula One Management over the series name, F1RWRS commissioner Prieto bought into the company to make his series the top level of the AutoReject ladder. The FIA then proceeded to absorb the ailing F2RWRS and F3RWRS series, turning them into Formula 2 and the Formula 3 Eurasian Championship respectively. To put the AutoReject World Series name on the map, Prieto again pushed through a number of engine changes to improve laptimes by approximately five seconds.
2018 was notable for a large turnover in teams, and hence a large number of drivers moved teams. ArrowTech, Autodynamics, Sunshine, Foxdale and Boxtel all left the sport for various reasons, and joining the grid were the Danish-French team Kjellerup, Tasmania's Tassie Racing, Austrian and German sportscar teams Union Saver Developments and RUF Blokkmonsta, alongside the French team Venturi. Furthermore, Rosenforth purchased the Holden Racing Team as the latter moved to F1, whilst the Peak Motorsport Group purchased Aeroracing Engineering. In a thrilling battle, British talent Terry Hawkin overcame Alberto Cara to win the title in his rookie season. Despite Dunlop Melrose Racing Team winning their second constructors' championship, the new faces fighting for the title and the last driver to take part in every ARWS weekend, Thomas de Bock, being excluded from two weekends proved that a new time had begun for the series.
List of champions
|2010||Gary Cameron||Team Calinetic||0||3||53|
|2012||Pippa Mann||Anglo-Manx Racing||2||4||87|
|2013||Mark Dagnall||Dagnall Engineering||7||8||74|
Virgin Melrose Racing Team
|2016||Rhys Davies||National Jones Ford Team||1||10||75|
|2017||Thomas De Bock||DScity Voeckler Renault||3||8||69|
|2018||Terry Hawkin||Coca-Cola Fusion Infiniti||6||8||76|
|2010||Prospec|| Nathanael Spencer
|2011||Prospec|| Nathanael Spencer
|2012||Anglo-Manx Racing|| Pippa Mann
|2013||Dagnall Engineering|| Chris Dagnall
|2014||DGNgineering|| Mark Dagnall
|2015||/ Virgin Melrose Racing Team|| Rhys Davies
|2016||Scuderia Alitalia|| Ron Mignolet
|2017||National Jones Ford Team|| Mark Dagnall
Diego Alvarez Torrente
|2018||/ Dunlop Melrose Racing Team|| Phillippe Nicolas
An * denotes the current season.
Dan Wheldon Memorial Trophy
Awarded to the Winner of the F1RWRS Indianapolis 500
|2012†||Hagane Shizuka||Manx-Anglo-Nippon Racing Team|
|2013||Jack Christopherson||Jones Racing|
|2014||Jack Christopherson||Jones Racing|
|2015||Jason Hamilton||/ Melrose Racing Team|
Dave McFaste Memorial Cup
Awarded to the Winner of the Chinese Grand Prix
- † - Awarded retroactively
Giovanni Lavaggi Trophy
Awarded to the Driver who has the most fastest laps in a season
Harvey Jones Memorial Trophy
Awared to the best tyre in the season
Gabriele Tarquini Memorial Trophy
Awared to the highest scoring team in the Pre-Qualifying Cup
|2016||Red Bull Autodynamics GP||75|
|2017||/ BASF Nurminen Grand Prix||90|
|2018||Team Mecha Racing||103|