GP3 2017 calendar trimmed to eight events, includes new Jerez round

GP3 will cut back from nine to eight events for its 2017 calendar, which will also feature its first race at Jerez

GP3 2017 calendar trimmed to eight events, includes new Jerez round

GP3 will cut back from nine to eight events for its 2017 calendar, which will also feature its first race at Jerez.

The Formula 1 support category has run 18 races across nine rounds for the past three years, but will return to its original 16-race/eight-round format for 2017.

The demise of the German Grand Prix means Hockenheim falls off the calendar, while GP3 organisers have opted against having two flyaway events this year on cost grounds - meaning Malaysian GP venue Sepang also disappears.

Series CEO Bruno Michel said: "In order to control the costs, we have decided to have only one flyaway event this year, which will be Abu Dhabi in November."

Instead GP3 joins sister series GP2 in racing in a standalone non-F1 meeting at Jerez in October, marking the championships' first forays away from grands prix since they supported the World Endurance Championship in Bahrain in November 2015.

GP3 has never previously raced at Jerez, but did use the track for an official test in 2014.

While GP2 kicks off alongside F1 in Bahrain in April this year, GP3 again waits until the Spanish GP in May for its first round.

Its absence from the Monaco and Azerbaijan F1 bills then means a pause until July for round two in Austria, though this is punctuated by a test at the Hungaroring.

There will also be three two-day pre-season tests at Estoril, Barcelona and Valencia.

2017 GP3 CALENDAR

May 12-14: Barcelona

July 7-9: Red Bull Ring

July 14-16: Silverstone

July 28-30: Hungaroring

August 25-27: Spa

September 1-3: Monza

October 6-8: Jerez

November 24-26: Yas Marina

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