F3 CUP TO AL­LOW 2016 MA­CHIN­ERY

Cham­pi­onship also adds LMP3 test for 2017 win­ner

Motor Sport News - - Racing News - By Jack Cozens

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.”

Photos: Jakob Ebrey, Gary Hawkins

Cars from 2012 through to ‘16 will be per­mit­ted

Prize drive in LMP3 pro­to­type awaits cham­pion

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