The GP3 Series has announced details of the second-generation car that it will introduce in 2013.
The GP3/13 will be an adaptation of the existing chassis, which has been used since the series' inaugural season in 2009.
A naturally aspirated 400hp engine will replace the existing 280hp turbocharged unit, while the design of the car will be modified with a new nose, sidepods and engine cover.
CEO Bruno Michel said that the changes will improve laptimes by around three to four seconds, while tyre supplier Pirelli will work to produce tyres closer to those used in GP3 and F1.
“When we started to think about our next generation car, we based our design on what has made the Series a success since its inception which was a low cost machine that best prepared the drivers for GP2 with a high level of downforce and the same kind of tyres as GP2 and F1, but we also added two major parameters: we want our car to be more powerful and more selective in order to make it an even better learning tool for young drivers who wish to graduate to GP2 and then to F1,” explained Michel.
“To achieve this, we have thus opted for a naturally aspirated 400hp engine which will make the drivers gain three to four seconds per lap on average, but we have also decided to redesign part of the car such as the nose, the sidepods and the engine cover, of course. We will also focus on working a lot with Pirelli in order to make the GP3 tyres closer to the ones used in GP2 and in F1.”
The series stated that its goal is to keep 'in line' with the current costs and budget – something Michel said would be achieved through providing the changes to the teams in the form of an upgrade kit to their existing chassis.
“The costs will be quite similar to the ones today, but this new car will be much more selective and powerful,” he said. “The modifications on the car will be implemented in the form of an upgrade kit in order to save the teams from purchasing a brand new chassis, thus being cost effective.”
The car will undergo a shakedown in early summer and will be revealed during the final race weekend of the season at Monza in September.
The series admitted ten teams, each running three cars, when it began but the most recent off-season saw the departure of Mucke Motorsport without a replacement. This new number of teams will now be maintained for the next three seasons.
“We will also keep nine teams and a maximum of twenty-seven cars on the grid,” said Michel. “We feel like thirty cars was too many and this season, we can see that twenty-seven is a perfect number for our Series. Teams who wish to gain entry for the next three years are welcome to send us an application from today.”