Organisers of the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship have revealed an exciting and expanded 14 round calendar for the 2012 season which will feature, for the first time, a pair of triple-header events designed to give drivers maximum track time and value for money.
Off the back of its most successful and high-profile campaign yet, a point underpinned by 2011 champion Dino Zamparelli earning a spot in the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, the increasingly prominent junior single-seater category is striving to continue its terrific momentum.
Each race meeting will be a two-day affair with the provisional 2012 schedule set to commence at Snetterton 200 Circuit in Norfolk, over the weekend 7th/8th April, with the first of the triple-header events. The second of those will take place five weeks later at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent on 12th/13th May.
After a seven week sojourn, the action will resume at the massive FIA British Truck Grand Prix event at Donington Park National Circuit in the East Midlands on 30th June/1st July for rounds seven and eight – in front of an anticipated 20,000-plus spectators.
From there, the next stop will be the category’s annual visit to Croft in North Yorkshire on 21st/22nd July for rounds nine and 10 before a six-week break prior to the penultimate event of the season at Rockingham in Northamptonshire on 1st/2nd September. The venue for the final two rounds of the campaign, and the date of the event, remains unconfirmed at this stage.
After close consultation with team representatives and the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC), Championship Promoter Simon North says the provisional calendar has been widely welcomed and the introduction of triple-header events is an important step for the burgeoning category.
“We’re delighted to be in a position to announce our provisional calendar well in advance of the New Year as it gives teams and potential drivers maximum time to prepare for the championship”, commented North, “With the addition of two triple-header events, an increase in races from 12 to 14 and an excellent selection of circuits we really feel this is potentially our best ever calendar.
“Protyre Formula Renault BARC enjoyed a fantastic season this year, the championship battle was one of the best we’ve witnessed and the standard of racing was particularly high. We’re hopeful with this provisional calendar now in place, it will enable the teams to sign early deals and will give them the best opportunity possible to attract new drivers to the championship.”
Steve Lynch, team manager of leading Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship squad Fortec Motorsport, MGR Motorsport team principal Mark Godwin and Scorpio Motorsport team boss Jon Pettit are all very happy with the 2012 calendar – in particular the increase to 14 rounds and the introduction of triple-header events.
“The idea of triple headers at the start of the season and the increase in track time is obviously good news and the rest of the calendar also looks good”, said Lynch, “I’d still like to see a BTCC supporting round on there, as we had this year, and if that can be secured it’ll be great. We’ll definitely continue in Formula Renault BARC next year, we’re committed to it as it’s a great series for young racers.”
Godwin added: “It’s really good for the championship having triple headers at the beginning of the season, it’s good to give young drivers coming in as much track time and experience as possible early on so I’m very pleased to see that.
“I’m happy we’ll be at the FIA truck event at Donington – the truck meet there this year was good and we had a big crowd which is important. Although BARC is a club series, it’s being taken much more seriously now. The fact (Dino)
Zamparelli is in the McLaren Award means it’s a championship drivers are looking at more and more.”
Pettit commented: “I like the calendar a lot, having Donington and Rockingham on there is great and Croft is a fantastic track for the drivers so I’m happy to see that on there. I am disappointed to lose Thruxton but if we can get on the TOCA (BTCC) package again at the end of the year that’ll be great.
“It’s good news the calendar has expanded to 14 races without the additional cost of going to another track. We had a good crowd at the truck meeting at Donington last season so I’m pleased we’ll be there again. Although BARC is still a club championship, the driver level is above that in my opinion and for people to see that at a big event like the trucks is very important.”
Along with headline sponsor Protyre, the championship is additionally supported by ELF, Michelin and NGK Spark Plugs. All dates and venues specified remain provisional and are subject to change.
Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship – Provisional 2012 CalendarRds 1/2/3: 7th/8th April - Snetterton 200 Circuit, NorfolkRds 4/5/6: 12th/13th May - Brands Hatch Indy Circuit, KentRds 7/8: 30th June/1st July - Donington Park National Circuit, LeicestershireRds 9/10: 21st/22nd July - Croft Circuit, North YorkshireRds 11/12: 1st/2nd September - Rockingham Motor Speedway, NorthamptonshireRds 13/14: TBC - TBC