Ex-GP3 racer Alice Powell will contest the opening British Formula 3 round at Rockingham this weekend, bringing the field up to just seven cars.
The 21-year-old will join China's Peter Li Zhi Cong in Carlin's line-up of Dallara-Volkswagen F308s.
Powell raced in the lower-level F3 Cup series last year, in which she finished runner-up.
She will have to miss qualifying as she is competing in a trial for the Team GB skeleton team.
"As always you wait for something to come along and then two buses come at once!" said Powell.
"It will be a hectic weekend but I'm really excited. I've always wanted to race in British Formula 3 ever since I did Formula Renault, so to get the opportunity to do it now and with the reigning champions is really good."
Powell's one-off deal means she completes a disappointing field, consisting of Powell and Li (Carlin), Martin Cao, Matt Rao and Sam MacLeod (all Fortec Motorsport), and Andy Chang and Camren Kaminsky (both Double R Racing).
This represents a difficult start for the refocused British F3, after teams elected to base the series on current and 2008-11 chassis, all powered by old-spec engines.
They hoped to admit pre-2008 cars, and also allow those using engines conforming to the new FIA regulations but without scoring points.
But an FIA letter, received by the MSA, British motorsport's governing body, on March 7, stated that cars conforming to current chassis and engine regulations 'should form the basis of the championship', while allowing that 'a concession for 2014 and 2015 will be given to ASNs that wish to also include non-current cars on their grids, provided all cars comply with the relevant FIA regulations of the day'.
The letter also said that 'only cars from the 2008 and 2012 generations may be used'.
It stated that this was a result of decisions made at the World Motor Sport Council on December 4.
While it removes any prospect of pre-2008 cars appearing in British F3 races, it opens up the possibility of F3 European Championship-spec cars competing in races and scoring points - but the Rockingham opener clashes with a European round at Hockenheim.
What a shame that such a small field has been attracted for the British F3 opener at Rockingham.
Following one week on from the German F3 kick-off at Oschersleben - which attracted a mere 10 cars - it appears that the category at a national level is on the ropes.
But it won't necessarily stay like this all season. Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell are planning cameo returns at Thruxton, Performance Racing is hoping to get drivers, and Double R Racing's plans for a third car at Rockingham only took a dive because the team couldn't get an engine in time.
It's going to be an up-and-down year, but hopefully venues such as Silverstone and Spa can pull in more competitors.
What hasn't helped is the changing guidelines on what is or isn't eligible for an F3 competition.
You can soon read an in-depth AUTOSPORT interview with FIA Single Seater Commission president Gerhard Berger.
The Austrian is adamant that the rules on new engines having to be eligible for points, and pre-2008 cars being barred (on safety grounds) were discussed during 2013 Commission meetings - at which an MSA representative was present - in the lead-up to the World Council decision in December.
Breakdown of communication? Whatever. Suffice to say, a few months ago British F3 teams would likely have kicked up a fuss about trying to find an equalising measure for the new engines against the old (there is a 1.5-2-second difference on the Silverstone GP circuit), but now they'll be welcoming any European-spec interlopers with open arms to get the numbers up.
After all, the odd race for a driver with a new-spec engine isn't going to overly affect the overall championship.