F3 Open drops 'F3' from its name, becomes Euroformula Open
|By Marcus Simmons||Friday, February 14th 2014, 14:40 GMT|
The European Formula 3 Open series has changed its name with immediate effect.
The move comes in the wake of FIA warnings that series not conforming to the governing body's new regulations for the category should not be called F3.
F3 Open promoter GT Sport announced on Friday that the series, which began life as the Spanish F3 Championship in 2001 and runs spec Toyota engines, will now be called Euroformula Open.
GT sport boss Jesus Pareja said: "To keep the F3 denomination would have entailed adopting the new FIA F3 engine rules, something that would have had severe budget implications for the teams.
"We are of the view that this is not wise, especially in the current economic context. We think that offering a high-performance formula at the most reasonable cost possible is the right way forward.
"Furthermore, with the 2014 engine upgrade, the Euroformula Open cars will have a performance level similar to any other series using F3 chassis.
"For us to retain the freedom to further improve the performance package and the cost-effectiveness in the future is a crucial point.
"The name change also avoids confusion with the European F3 Championship recently reinstated by the FIA. We definitely think that preserving the essence of our series is more important than what it is called."
British squad Team West-Tec already has six drivers confirmed for Euroformula Open for 2014.
Briton Cameron Twynham will step up to the main class for Dallara F312 chassis, and will be joined by Israeli Yarin Stern, German Nicolas Pohler and Austrian Christopher Hoher, as well as Thai Formula Renault graduate Tanart Sathienthirakul.
China's Wei Fung 'Shaun' Thong, a frontrunner in Formula Renault BARC last season, is the first driver confirmed for West-Tec's Copa-class effort in the older Dallara F308s.
Meanwhile, another Briton, Sean Walkinshaw (son of the late former racer and F1 team boss Tom) has switched from West-Tec to Campos Racing for 2014.