New cars, great circuits, British Formula 3 set for thrilling 2012

SRO Motorsport Group today reveals an exciting calendar for the coming year of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series, a season which will see the introduction of Dallara’s new chassis as well as fresh impetus for the junior division of the championship, the National Class, and a headlining visit to the famous Grand Prix de Pau in south-west France.

The season will be spread over 10 events with three races at each, with the exception of the Pau meeting, and will take in the Grand Prix circuits of Monza in Italy, Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and Silverstone, as well as all of Britain’s leading tracks.

Commencing with a Good Friday/Easter Saturday event at Oulton Park in Cheshire, British Formula 3 will share its UK dates with the Avon Tyres British GT Championship, as well as a full roster of supporting championships.

“We are very pleased by the format of the calendar, the dates secured and the circuits British Formula 3 will visit,” said SRO General Manager Lisa Crampton. “Monza, Ricard and Spa were the highlights of the 2011 season for the teams, drivers and spectators, and we are more than pleased to be returning, and also delighted that the Grand Prix de Pau will be joining the schedule. It will be the first street race on the British Formula 3 calendar for several years and will offer a real test.

“The 2012 season will be a fascinating one on many levels, not least because it will see the introduction of a new Formula 3 chassis featuring many safety enhancements. We also expect to see a revitalised National class now that a greater number of older chassis is available to drivers seeking a relatively inexpensive way into Britain’s leading single-seater category.” The National Champion will win a test day in a chassis prepared by the International teams championship winner.

Regulation changes aimed at improving the show include the allocation of full points for the second race of the three-race weekend - previously the 20-minute race two offered only half points. Race one will continue to be a 30-minute event and race three, the feature race, a 40-minute endurance event. The only exception to the three-race format will be the Grand Prix de Pau, at which there will be a 30-minute and a 40-minute double-header.

There are revisions also to the reverse-grid draw for the 20-minute sprint race. As in the last two seasons, the grid will be based on the finishing order of the preceding race, but for 2012 a driver finishing between positions eight and 12 will be picked for the pole. “We are still considering further regulation options, and will be looking closely at the reintroduction of pit-stop races,” added Crampton.

The championship’s visits to Donington Park and Brands Hatch will see those circuits’ Grand Prix layouts in use; at Snetterton the full ‘300’ circuit will be in operation; while at Rockingham British F3 will for the first time use the 2.05-mile International Super Sports Car ‘Long’ track layout.

British Formula 3 enjoys the headlining support of Cooper Tires and is additionally backed by Sunoco Racing Fuels and Anglo American Oil Company.

Provisional calendar 2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series

Date Circuit Event 21 Mar Silverstone GP Championship launch & media day 06/07 Apr Oulton Park British F3 & GT 14/15 Apr Monza, Italy Blancpain Endurance Series 11-13 May Pau, France Grand Prix de Pau 26/27 May Rockingham British F3 & GT 23/24 Jun Brands Hatch GP British F3 & GT 29 Jun-01 Jul Paul Ricard, France Blancpain Endurance Series 26-28 Jul Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium Blancpain Endurance Series 04/05 Aug Snetterton 300 British F3 & GT 08/09 Sep Silverstone GP British F3 & GT 29/30 Sep Donington Park GP British F3 & GT

All dates and circuits are provisional and subject to change

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