PORTUGAL BECKONS FOR BRITISH F3
The Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series is to visit Portugal for the first time in its history, it is announced today (1 Apr). The championship will make its call to the new Autodrómo Internacional do Algarve, near Portimão, in mid-September.
The Portuguese races will replace those previously scheduled for the Bucharest street track in August. A late date switch of the latter event proved too inconvenient, as Alistair Spence, from series promoter SRO Motorsports Group, explains: "The original Bucharest date was ideal for us, but the Romanian event organisers had to bring it forward and it became logistically difficult for the teams. We were happy to explore other opportunities and we are more than delighted with the outcome."
Two British F3 races - rounds 17 and 18 of the 20-event calendar - are scheduled for the 2.9-mile Algarve track; they will support rounds of the FIA GT3 Championship.
Cooper Tires British F3: revised provisional calendar11 & 13 Apr, Oulton Park Int25/26 Apr, Donington Park Nat2/3 May, Silverstone GP30/31 May, Rockingham6/7 Jun, Hockenheim4/5 Jul, Snetterton24/25 Jul, Spa-Francorchamps15/16 Aug, Silverstone Int12/13 Sep, Algarve19/20 Sep, Brands Hatch GP
FOUR F3 BRITS SELECTED BY MSA
Four young drivers from the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series have been selected by the judging panel of the Motor Sports Association's training and development scheme to become part of the organisation's driver programme.
They are Wayne Boyd, Oliver Oakes and Nick Tandy, who are named as MSA British Race Elite drivers, and Max Chilton, who is to be one of the MSA's British Race Academy.
The four were selected from in excess of 50 applicants for the coveted places on the scheme, which offers members one-to-one training in track performance, engineering skills and technical understanding, physical training, mind coaching, career management, sponsorship generation, self-promotion and media presentation.
Speaking on behalf of the judges, MSA performance director Robert Reid said: "It was good to see the best of young British talent up close, and the quality of applicant we saw was high. It will be great to see what the drivers we have picked will gain from the 12 months ahead."
BUZAID SHOWS THE WAY IN SILVERSTONE TESTING
The final pre-season tests for the 2009 Cooper Tires British F3 International Series were completed at Silverstone today (Weds) with T-Sport's Adriano Buzaid remaining the pacesetter. The Brazilian's 1m 14.289s Tuesday lap of the 2.25-mile International circuit remained the best of the two-day session. It was more than a second inside the lap record.
Riki Christodoulou joined the test today after missing yesterday's running; he wound up 11th quickest in his Dallara. His Fortec team-mate, Daniel McKenzie, was the quickest of the National class runners, with new championship signing Gabriel Dias close behind on his F3 debut. The circus now moves on to Oulton Park, with further testing on Good Friday (10 Apr) ahead of Saturday's qualifying sessions and Easter Monday's first and second rounds of the championship.
Silverstone testing times 31 March & 1 April (Wednesday times in parentheses)1 Adriano Buzaid/BR, T-Sport Dallara-Volkswagen, 1m 14.289s (1m 14.969s)2 Oliver Oakes/GB, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen, 1m 14.308s (1m 15.101s)3 Carlos Huertas/COL, RR Dallara-Mercedes, 1m 14.329s (1m 14.753s)4 Max Chilton/GB, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen, 1m 14.330s (1m 14.854s)5 Daniel Ricciardo/AUS, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen, 1m 14.346s (1m 15.051s)6 Henry Arundel/GB, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen, 1m 14.381s (1m 14.965s)7 Wayne Boyd/GB, T-Sport Dallara-Volkswagen, 1m 14.442s (1m 14.996s)8 Daisuke Nakajima/J, RR Dallara-Mercedes, 1m 14.542s (1m 15.274s)9 Nick Tandy/GB, JTR Mygale-Mercedes, 1m 14.618s (1m 15.132s)10 Walter Grubmüller/A, Hitech Dallara-Mercedes, 1m 15.089s (1m 15.489s)11 Riki Christodoulou/GB, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes, no time (1m 15.231s)12 Victor Garcia/ESP, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes, 1m 15.248s (1m 15.392s)13 Hywel Lloyd/GB, CF Racing Dallara-Mugen Honda, 1m 15.457s (1m 15.384s)14 Daniel McKenzie/GB, Fortec Dallara-Mugen Honda, 1m 15.386s (1m 16.172s)15 Stéphane Richelmi/MON, Barazi-Epsilon Dallara-Mercedes, 1m 15.604s (1m 15.638s)16 Gabriel Dias/BRA, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda, 1m 15.641s (1m 15.857s)17 Victor Correa/BR, Litespeed-Mugen Honda, 1m 16.041s (1m 16.727s)18 Jay Bridger/GB, West-Tec Mygale-Mugen Honda, 1m 16.761s (1m 16.083s)19 Max Snegirev/R, West-Tec Dallara-Mugen Honda, 1m 16.479s (1m 17.263s)