SRO Motorgroup Group has announced a provisional 10 event calendar for the 2012 Cooper Tyres British Formula 3 International Series championship, as well as changes to its shorter reversed-grid races.
The series will continue its eclectic mix of both globally revered and humble British tracks in 2012, with returns to the illustrious Spa-Francorchamps and Monza circuits also scheduled. The classic French street circuit of Pau is also set to be revisited, last seen in British F3 back in 2005.
“We are very pleased by the format of the calendar, the dates secured and the circuits British Formula 3 will visit,” said SRO General Manager Lisa Crampton. “Monza, Ricard and Spa were the highlights of the 2011 season for the teams, drivers and spectators, and we are more than pleased to be returning, and also delighted that the Grand Prix de Pau will be joining the schedule. It will be the first street race on the British Formula 3 calendar for several years and will offer a real test.”
The series will share its UK events with the Avon Tyres British GT Championship and will also face up against the F3Euroseries and other invitational entries at Spa-Francorchamps as it did in 2011.
The reversed-grid races – often the 2nd of the weekend, dubbed ‘sprint races’ as they only last for a maximum of 20 minutes – will undergo some changes concerning both the grid selection process and the points system. Maximum points will now be awarded for reversed-grid races, with 20 points up for grabs instead of 10, putting it level with races 1 and 3 of each weekend.
As for the starting grid, the pole-sitter for each race 2 will now be picked from the 8th-12th placed finishers in race 1. Whilst the top 8 from the preceding race will be randomly assigned a new grid slot as in previous years, a slower pole-sitter will potentially provide more on-track action in the morning sprint races.
Crampton also alluded to the reintroduction of pit-stop races, last trialled in 2010. “We are still considering further regulation options, and will be looking closely at the reintroduction of pitstop races,” she added.
Provisional calendar 2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series
21 Mar Silverstone GP Championship launch & media day
06/07 Apr Oulton Park British F3 & GT
14/15 Apr Monza, Italy Blancpain Endurance Series
11-13 May Pau, France Grand Prix de Pau
26/27 May Rockingham British F3 & GT
23/24 Jun Brands Hatch GP British F3 & GT
29 Jun-01 Jul Paul Ricard, France Blancpain Endurance Series
26-28 Jul Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium Blancpain Endurance Series
04/05 Aug Snetterton 300 British F3 & GT
08/09 Sep Silverstone GP British F3 & GT
29/30 Sep Donington Park GP British F3 & GT
All dates and circuits are provisional and subject to change