Unfortunately Conor Daly won't have the best indication of the difference between a GP3 race-car and a (top) F3 race-car run by top F3 Euroseries race-team. With all due respect to West-Tec, but they are not......
The Euro F3 Open is definitely NOT the F3 Euroseries but a Spanish F3 series. Its run in conjunction with the Spanish Open GT series. Although its Spain based, both series are run throughout Europe (see the detail below.)
The main difference between the F3 Euroseries and the Euro F3 Open is the following: F3 Euroseries will run brand new 2012 (Dallara) F3 chassis (spec. to the latest FIA F3 regulations) with different engines (also latest FIA F3 regulations) such as Mercedes Benz and VW (in Europe) and Toyota, Honda and Nissan (in Japan), whereas the Euro F3 Open runs 'old' F3 race-cars from 2005-2008. Engine wise Euro F3 Open teams are only allowed one engine type, i.e. Toyota (see Euro F3 Open technical regulations).
Also an indication of the level of competition is that none of the Euro F3 Open drivers took part at the international Macao F3 recently held. This is the F3 race of the year where all F3 champions and other top F3 drivers from all over the world compete at.
Next to all this the F3 Euroseries runs along the very prestigious DTM series, whereas the Euro F3 Open runs alongside the Spanish Open GT series which is a field of - mostly - second hand GT race-cars.
The F3 Euroseries is a much better way for a young driver to develop himself as a technical race-car driver compared to GP3. F3 regulations allow a lot of technical features and development which a race-driver can work on together with his engineer. This is not possible in GP3 where Daly ran last year.
There are a few drivers who have driven both GP3 and F3 race-cars in competition in 2011, these are Valtteri Bottas, Nigel Melker and Roberto Mehri. Before making a rash decision, maybe the Daly's should consider to talk to one or two of these guys as it will give them the best indication for what to do in 2012.
2011 EUROPEAN FORMULA F3 OPEN TECHNICAL REGULATIONS 0. Admitted vehicles 0.1 Make, model, type: Only the single-seaters cars manufactured by Dallara Automobili and supplied by GT Sport, models F300, F305/6 and F308 will be eligible for the European F3 Open, with their authorized evolutions,. Regarding the mechanical configuration, no modification or substitution not expressly allowed in these regulations will be admitted, except those necessary setups or the necessary parts for the exploitation of the car (data acquisition sensors, time-keeping devices, means of elevation, etc.). In this last case, any modification will be required to the Technical Commission of the Spanish Federation and to the Organizing Committee in writing.
ARTICLE 5: ENGINE 5.1. Types of engine permitted 5.1.4 For the European F3 Open 2011 the following engines may be used: For chassis F300, F305/6 y F308: it is solely authorized the engines designed, defined and supplied by the Organizing Committee for these chassis. For season 2011, solely the original Toyota engine with denomination 3SGE-SXE10 and with the specific configuration defined and supplied by GT Sport will be authorized for chassis F300, F305/6 and F308.
12/09/11 Just three days before his 20th birthday (December 15th), American Conor Daly will spend a day testing in Valencia, Spain on Monday December 12th with Team West-Tec in one of their F3 Euro open cars. The British based team is the current F3 Euro Open champion team.
Having spent two days testing recently in Valencia in a GP3 car, Daly is very much looking forward to the test as an interesting comparison. "F3 has always been a great series and I jumped at the opportunity to test because the more miles and experience I gain in the European environment, the better driver I will become. I'm very curious as to what the difference will be between GP3 (Formula One support series) and Formula 3", said Daly.
"We have followed Conor for quite a while and tried to get him into our team for the 2011 season, said John Miller, partner, Team West-Tec. "He has quite a bit of junior series experience and we want to tap into that experience a little by putting him in one of our cars for a day".
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