F3 SOUAD WEST-TEC IN PROTOTYPE CUP
Team wants to move into sportscar world
Renowned Formula 3 outfit Team West-tec plan to run two cars in the new Prototype Cup next year, saying the series has the potential to rival British GT.
West-tec has previously provided technical support to prototype and sportscar teams, notably in the European Le Mans Series. Now with the rapid expansion in the LMP3 category worldwide the team now sees an opportunity to run cars.
Team manager Craig Bennett says the team are keen to remain in Formula 3, but is realistic about the challenges surrounding the single-seater racing chain.
“We know there are opportunities in LMP3,” he said. “It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find customers to race in F3 and I don’t think the market is quite as strong.
“We definitely want to keep going in Euroformula Open and our single-seater pursuits but, at the same time, we’re keen to look into the future and I can see the Prototype Cup becoming the new Radicals and potentially a rival to British GT.”
West-tec entered two Ligier JS P3s last weekend at Snetterton for the inaugural Prototype Cup race, but damage in qualifying meant that the car driven by Christian England and Colin Noble was retired for the race. Instead, it was the car of Bradley Smith and Shaun Balfe that completed the hour-long event and finished second.
Bennett says that attending the event and showcasing the team’s ability is essential to the team’s 2017 plans.
“There’s a mini boom in LMP3 and we know we have the contacts with young professional drivers so this weekend is about coming and showing what we can do.”
United Autosports boss Richard Dean added that he is confident the category will be a success.
“We’re the UK agents for Ligier and we’ve had six orders and I’m fairly certain four are for the Prototype Cup so in theory we’re up to 12 cars if you include the ones here,” he said.
“There are nine Ligiers in the UK and eight were at Snetterton which is huge.”