British F3 2010 Calendar Twin visits to the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit and races at the European Grand Prix tracks of Magny-Cours, Hockenheim and Spa-Francorchamps, as well as a return to Britain's fastest track, Thruxton, are among the highlights of the provisional calendar for the 2010 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series, announced today.
The schedule for Britain's premier single-seater championship - which in 2010 expands to 30 races, with three races planned for each of its 10 meetings - is set to underline its status as the world's leading training ground for the Grand Prix stars of the future.
"The proposed calendar is the best that the championship has ever enjoyed," said Bernadette Fitzsimons, General Manager SRO Motorsports Group. "We are particularly pleased that both our visits to Silverstone will be on the Grand Prix circuit and that 50 per cent of the races will take place on full Grand Prix circuits. It's great also to be returning to Thruxton after a year's absence - it's a favorite for teams and drivers, as well as for spectators."
The championship will get underway over the Easter weekend at Oulton Park alongside the Avon Tires British GT Championship, with which series it will share the bill also at Snetterton, Rockingham, Brands Hatch and Silverstone in August. The Snetterton date has switched to late August, a month later than previously envisaged.
British F3 is scheduled to join the FIA GT World Championship at Silverstone in May and at Spa-Francorchamps, alongside the prestigious Spa 24 Hours. The latter date is one of three overseas events aimed at maintaining the championship's status as an international proving ground for young talent, like Jaime Alguersuari, the Spaniard who found an F1 seat with Toro Rosso within months of taking the 2008 British F3 Champion's title, and Daniel Ricciardo, the 2009 champion, who accelerated straight into a testing role with the Red Bull F1 team.
The calendar is welcomed by one of Britain's bright young hopes for F3 success in the coming season - 18-year-old Oli Webb, who has signed with front-running team Fortec Motorsports for 2010. "It all sounds very good," says Webb. "I am delighted that we are starting at Oulton because that's my home circuit and one of my favorites, very much a driver's track in the same way as Spa is. It's great also to be visiting Spa, Hockenheim and Magny Cours, and Silverstone GP, because they are big Grand Prix tracks. Thruxton is a very different type of place, very high speed and it will be a big challenge for the teams."
T-Sport team boss Russell Eacott is pleased also: "You can't argue with five out of the 10 meetings taking place on proper Grand Prix circuits - it's a great calendar. And the other circuits will provide great racing, too, especially Thruxton; three races there in a weekend will make for an exciting meeting, that's for sure."
In 2010 British F3 will continue to enjoy title sponsorship from US tire manufacturer Cooper Tire, following the company's successful association with the championship in 2009. Further support comes from Sunoco Racing Fuels, Anglo American Oil Company and Mirror.co.uk. The championship is set to again receive extensive terrestrial TV coverage in the UK via Channel 4 and across Europe on the Motors satellite channel.
Provisional calendar 2010 Cooper Tires British F3 International Series
03-05 Apr Oulton Park, with British GT
01/02 May Silverstone GP, with FIA GT World Championship
22/23 May Magny-Cours, France
29/30 May Hockenheim, Germany, with ADAC GT Masters
17/18 Jul Rockingham, with British GT
30/31 Jul Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, with FIA GT World Championship
07/08 Aug Thruxton
14/15 Aug Silverstone GP, with British GT
29/30 Aug Snetterton, with British GT
25/26 Sep Brands Hatch GP, with British GT