Rival bodies fight over Formula 3

The British Formula 3 Championship has become the focus of a power struggle between the British Racing Drivers' Club and The British Automobile Racing Club, in the wake of the boycott of its host PowerTour package by some of the country's top circuits.

Rival bodies fight over Formula 3

PowerTour, which includes British GTs as well as F3, has proved a disappointment in terms of attendances at several circuits, and the BARC is now believed to be attempting to take on F3 itself. Suggestions include the series joining the British Touring Car Championship's support package.

In previous years, the BARC and the BRDC, which owns Silverstone, have alternated running F3. However, at the beginning of the season, the BRDC took on a three-year tenure of the series, claiming that it had registered F3 for both clubs, and that it was the sole provider of promotion and administration.

"We won't let F3 from our grasp easily," said Silverstone's Roger Etcell, the driving force behind PowerTour. "If they want to run it, we shall be forced to pull out all our financial support."

The PowerTour package was billed as a way of rejuvenating national racing, but even with a drop in support for the British Touring Car Championship affording the BRDC a chance to capitalise, ticket sales have been disappointing. BARC owns Thruxton, one of the circuits to boycott PowerTour in 2001.

If the dispute comes to a head, the Motor Sports Association may have to adjudicate. The MSA, which is the governing body of motorsport in Britain, has been called on by F3 team bosses to step in, in order to head off a situation where both clubs announce their own series. A similar situation has occurred in British Rallying, where the MSA and rebel manufacturers have established rival 1600cc series.

"If both clubs applied it'd be hard to call," said the MSA's chief executive John Quenby.

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