Asian championship becomes second Regional F3 series to be launched

The FIA's Regional Formula 3 concept has gained a second series, with a new Asian championship launched for 2018

The F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA is scheduled to kick off at former Malaysian Grand Prix venue Sepang on July 13-15, and joins the new US championship on the Regional F3 roster.

Five triple-header rounds are projected, with two events at the new Ningbo circuit in China and one at Chinese GP track Shanghai, before the campaign finishes back at Sepang in late November.

Asian F3 will be run by Shanghai-based organiser Top Speed, which over the past decade has played a major role in the promotion or organisation of some of the region's leading contests, including the Asian Le Mans Series, the Audi R8 LMS Cup, Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific, Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia and the single-seater Formula Masters Series.

The plan is for a single-spec chassis powered by a 270bhp turbocharged engine and featuring the halo - it has yet to be decided who the suppliers will be, although Top Speed does have a prior association with Tatuus, which provided the Formula Abarth-based car used in FMasters.

Top Speed general manager Davide De Gobbi said: "We are proud to open the new era for global Formula 3 with the F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA this year.

"It marks a coming of age for Asian motorsport, and opens up a world of opportunities for our regional drivers as well as those around the world seeking the ideal development environment run in the world's economic powerhouse."

The FIA's Charlie Whiting, who has been appointed as the governing body's director of single-seater championships, added: "The addition of another regional FIA Formula 3 championship will be a hugely positive step in the development of the category around the world.

"Junior motorsport has been growing rapidly in Asia in recent years, with highly competitive FIA Formula 4 series in China, Japan and South East Asia giving young drivers a better opportunity than ever before to advance their skills and move up to the next level.

"Now with the F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA, these drivers will have a great place to compete at a regional level."

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