A new FIA-spec Formula 3 championship has been launched in America that will become the first junior single-seater series to run with the halo cockpit protection device in 2018.
The F3 Americas Series will launch its season at Virginia International Raceway in April.
It is part of a new push to create a junior single-seater ladder in the United States, and will exist alongside the the Mazda-backed Road to Indy programme, which comprises USF2000, Pro Mazda, Indy Lights and IndyCar.
The new American F3 category is designed to offer a series to graduate into from the pre-existing Formula 4 United States Championship.
Its car will be a Ligier Crawford chassis developed by Onroak, and will use a 270bhp Honda Performance Development engine.
This differs from the F4 machine with configurable aero components and increased safety structures.
"The Ligier Crawford JS F3 is the next step up from Onroak Automotive NA's successful F4 car," said Onroak North America general manager Max Crawford.
"The design team in Denver has worked comprehensively with the FIA on implementing all the requirements for the new generation of F3 cars, and this has enabled us to produce the new car at a level of performance and safety that leads the world."
SCCA Pro Racing, the championship organiser, says that the series is an important step on the single-seater ladder for the US.
"SCCA Pro Racing's introduction of an FIA F3 race series is a great opportunity for our partners and SCCA Pro Racing to reset the current paradigm of open-wheel racing in North America," said its vice president/general manager Steve Oseth.
"Its introduction, combined with the steps above and below the F3 series, will work to greatly lower the running costs of open-wheel race cars."
The season finale for the US F4 series will take place over the course of this weekend's United States Grand Prix at Austin, where the new F3 car was unveiled.