GB3’s 25-car grid this weekend the biggest at this level for five decades

GB3’s 25-car grid this weekend the biggest at this level for five decades

Confirmation that the GB3 Championship will have 25 cars on the grid for this weekend’s season opener (7-10 April) means that spectators at Oulton Park will be witnessing the UK’s biggest single-class single-seater entry at this level in more than five decades. 

Since the introduction of the Tatuus MSV-022 car at the start of last season, GB3’s average grid size has increased over the already strong levels seen between 2016 and 2021. Last year’s average was above 21 cars, with the 23-car entry at Silverstone in July the largest since the series, in its BRDC F4 guise, supported the DTM back in 2013, when 24 drivers took part. 

Driver interest has risen even further since the end of the 2022 season, with the vast majority of GB3’s nine teams entering capacity three-car line-ups for the new campaign. The announcement of James Hedley on the grid with Arden VRD means 25 cars will thunder down to Old Hall bend on the first lap of the season on Saturday. 

The grid is believed to be the largest seen at the top-class British F3 level in the UK since the early 1970s, when future F1 champions James Hunt and Alan Jones began their junior careers. 

Whilst grid sizes in British F3 did reach the mid-20s for much of the 1990s and 2000s, those entries were combined across two classes (International and National, or Class A and Class B before that), unlike GB3, where every driver competes in one class for the same outright prizes. 

MSV Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer said: “Of course I’m delighted to see such huge demand for seats in GB3, which proves just what a compelling proposition it is for drivers. GB3 fills the gap between F4 and F3 superbly, with an unrivalled blend of performance, reliability and equality at an outstandingly low cost. As a result, the competition, amongst a very talented field, is intense, which is why our GB3 champions such as Luke Browning and Zak O’Sullivan are impressing in FIA F3, with Zak winning the last round in Australia. 

“I have no doubt we will see some of this year’s grid achieving their target of driving an F1 car in the next five years, determined to follow in the brilliant footsteps of our former BRDC F4 champion George Russell.

“Between GB3 and GB4 there will be 40 drivers racing at Oulton Park this weekend, proof that the UK is well and truly back as an outstanding proving ground for Grand Prix drivers of the future.”

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