2011 Formula Renault 3.5 champion Robert Wickens (Photo Credit: Renault Sport)

2011 Formula Renault 3.5 champion Robert Wickens (Photo Credit: Renault Sport)

Up to 18 new teams have applied to join the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship for the 2012 season.

Chief among those are French outfit DAMS which ran Romain Grosjean on his way to the 2011 GP2 title and Arden, co-owned by Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner, which fields cars in both GP2 and GP3.

Moreover, with the Red Bull junior programme preferring FR.3.5 as a proving ground for its young drivers, Arden's move into the category had been widely expected.

Twelve of the 13 teams that competed in FR3.5 in 2011 have also submitted entries, with just the Mofaz the only team not to sign up as they are closing down their FR3.5 operation.

Other notable entires are Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup front-runners Koiranen Motorsport, German F3 teams Max Travin Racing and Van Amersfoort, and Atech Reid GP who run in Formula Superleague and Formula Renault UK.

With new teams and a new car on the horizon for 2012, it should be a classic.

The Series will announce the 13 successful applicants on October 17, along with two standby entrants.