Champ Car is also looking to formally re-establish a lower rung on the ladder, be that a return of and official sanctioning of the Formula BMW Series, or another formula. Currently Formula BMW has a deal with IMSA, though it's not clear whether that is for more than one year.
11/18/04 A reader asks, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I just read your rumor on the Atlantic Series changes. I think it would make sense, if the series would be based on a F3 platform, to open up the competition for all current F3 chassis manufacturers. Keep a spec engine. If a F3 team from Europe wanted to compete in the Atlantic Series they could come over, just change the engine and run their equipment. Would make sense to me. That, of course, depends on what is meant by: on a Lola F3 platform. Is it just the tub and the rest all new body parts? Robert Kleine, Germany. Dear Robert, We have long maintained that the Atlantic series be based on the F3 or F3000 platform for the very reasons you point out. It makes zero sense for the Atlantic series to be unique and exclusive. It discourages participation instead of encouraging it. The next-gen Atlantic car should be 100% F3. We would probably call it American F3 vs. British F3, German F3, etc. As for the engine, it should be equal to all the others in terms of HP. All this doesn't prevent Champ Car from awarding the entire contract to Lola and Cosworth. Mark C. 11/18/04 Rumor has it that Toyota is definitely out of Toyota Atlantic Series after 2005 and the new series owners, OWRS, are keen to make major changes. Look for a new engine from Cosworth making around 300 HP and a new chassis based on the Lola F3 platform. The goal is for the cost per year to run one car to be at $500,000. What car manufacturer will badge the engine remains to be seen, but OWRS is determined to make this series far better than it is today so as many new drivers as possible can have a chance to show their talents. Mark C.