Big changes ahead for British series

The British Formula 3 Championship is set for a shake up in 2001 as races at Rockingham, Castle Combe and Knockhill look likely

Big changes ahead for British series

The category could also appear on the British Grand Prix support bill this year, although the event would have to be run as a non-championship race. Another concept would be to run a Europe-wide F3 mini-series, which would include rounds at Silverstone, Zandvoort (Marlboro Masters), Spa-Francorchamps and Pau (FIA European Cup).

The latest PowerTour calendar, which is headlined by British F3, includes Castle Combe, where F3 hasn't raced since the 1970s, and Knockhill in Scotland. Although both are subject to an MSA track inspection, series insiders reckon they are "95% sure" of being passed.

Another big change is the loss of Spa from the calendar, which is a commercially motivated move on behalf of series organisers British Motorsport Promoters.

"Not going to Spa is an emotional issue," said PowerTour boss Roger Etcell. "But, when we put our commercial hats on, we're quite pleased not to be going there. Spa isn't in a position to run a proper PowerTour programme and another thing is that, under the BMP structure, we should support British circuits."

The August 18/19 date has been left blank at present, but this is expected to be run at Rockingham, the new combined oval and road course circuit near Corby.

"It looks set to be a very professional and quality venue, so it should be a part of BMP," added Etcell. "We are going to continue talking with them and will see how it develops."

A Saturday night race meeting has been pencilled in for the PowerTour finale at Silverstone, although F3s would race in the early evening.


March 31/April 1, Silverstone (International)
April 14/15, Donington Park (GP)
April 28/29, Snetterton
May 6/7, Oulton Park
May 27/28, Croft
June 9/10, Knockhill*
June 23/24, Castle Combe*
July 7/8, Brands Hatch (GP)
July 13/14, Silverstone (British GP)**?
July 21/22, Donington Park (GP circuit)
August 18/19, Rockingham?
September 1/2, Thruxton
September 15/16, Brands Hatch (GP)
September 28/29, Silverstone (International)

* Subject to track improvements. Provisional events or dates are in italics
** Non-championship event

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