A host of changes are being introduced in an attempt to spice up the Formula Renault UK Championship in 2012. The single-seater series suffered a disappointing year in 2011, but series organisers SRO are mixing things up for this year to try and boost interest in the series and raise grid numbers.
Top of the changes is the introduction of a Junior 'B' class. The class will use the older (Pre 2010) Formula Renault Tatuus chassis, as used in the Formula Renault BARC Championship. The series is aiming to attract young drivers with a reduced entry fee, a later test ban date and equal billing on track to the Formula Renault 2.0 cars in the main class.
The championship will have a new event format this season, which will now see the single-seater racers enjoy three races each weekend. The opening encounter will be a 15 minute sprint race, with the final two races taking place over 30 minutes. The championship will once again supporting the British Touring Car Championship for the majority of its rounds, but it will also have two special guest events, supporting the British F3/GT series' at Silverstone, before heading abroad for the Masters of F3 event at Zandvoort.
Qualifying is also being changed for 2012. The driver's fastest times in qualifying will set the grid for race three, with their second fastest times setting the grid for race two. The opening race will feature a reverse grid, with a random draw picking a number between six and ten, with those places from the fastest times being reversed.
One final change for 2012 championship will see the Graduate Cup, for drivers under 19 years of age who have yet to complete a season in the Formula Renault 2.0 cars, renamed as the Rookie Trophy.