F3 CUP TO ALLOW 2016 MACHINERY
Championship also adds LMP3 test for 2017 winner
The F3 Cup will permit chassis manufactured up to 2016 this season, and has set up a prize drive in an LMP3 car for its champion.
The F3 Cup has allowed cars up to and including the 2011 season to race in the championship since 2015, having previously only permitted cars constructed between 1981 and 2005.
But for 2017, F3 machinery – principally from manufacturer Dallara – from 2012-’16 has been written into the regulations, allowing cars built as recently as last season to compete.
Newer cars will be required to run Formula 3 engines homologated for 2012 or earlier, but will start the season on the same weight as the ’08-’11 cars.
Organisers have also decided against permitting Dallara’s new 2017-spec aero kits, which will be used in the European F3 Championship this year.
“We changed the regulations the year before last to allow in 2008 and 2011 cars, but we’ve moved things forward again,” said championship coordinator Simon Davey. “Essentially, we wanted to increase the available pool of cars and also give the drivers an opportunity to drive more recent F3 machinery.
“They’ll have to run the same engines [as the older generation cars]. Effectively, they’re in the spec of British F3 in 2012; they ran a year with the oldspec engine. The F3 Cup cars will run to that even if they’re nominally a 2014 car.
“At the moment, we’re starting the season with the ’08-’11s and the ’12-’16s running at the same weight. We’ll be monitoring that very carefully to see how it goes.
“Euroformula Open tested the 2017 aero packs, but we’re specifically not going to be allowing those. It’s back to performance levelling; our current view is the ’16 cars shouldn’t need that to be competitive against the ’08s to ’11s. it’s quite an expensive upgrade as well, so we’re hanging fire but we’re watching that situation very closely.”
The F3 Cup will also offer its title winner a 200-kilometre test in a Ligier JS P3 as part of a link-up with the new LMP3 Cup Championship.
“MSVR are very pleased with their and Bute Motorsport’s LMP3 Championship and they’ve essentially tried to link that to the F3 Cup,” added Davey. “It’s a great prize – it’s a 160-mile test, so it’s not just a couple of laps. It should be very attractive to the spectrum of drivers we have.”
Cars from 2012 through to ‘16 will be permitted
Prize drive in LMP3 prototype awaits champion