The exciting Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International series bursts into action next weekend (25-27 July) at the home to the Belgian Grand Prix, the Circuit Spa-Francorchamps, for the latest rounds of the 2013 season.
Eleven cars from five of the best UK teams in International Formula 3 racing are set to do battle; Carlin, CF Racing, Double R, Fortec and Team West-Tec will all compete in three 30-minute races that form the support package of the prestigious Spa 24 Hours sports car race.
Northern Ireland’s William Buller has the lead of the championship as it approaches the halfway mark in the 2013 season. The Craigavon-born Fortec driver was a force to be reckoned with in round one at Silverstone in May, and with five points covering the next five drivers in the series, there is everything to play for in Belgium – especially now that Buller’s fellow Fortec team-mate, Felix Serralles, has pulled out of the series through injury.
Buller’s closest rival in the standings is his other team-mate, Brazilian racer, Felipe Guimaraes. The 22 year-old from Anápolis is raring to go and is just twenty four points off the lead of the series as they travel to the Ardennes.
Carlin and Double R’s line-ups of rookies are embroiled in a fascinating scrap too. If recent performances at the RTL Formula 3 Masters are anything to go by we should see Jordan King (Carlin) and Antonio Giovinazzi (Double R) stepping up to add extra bite to the battle at the top of the points table. Last time out King and Giovinazzi took a win each, they’ll be looking to do the same again as the series springs into life after a brief summer break.
The National class for older Formula 3 machinery has a reduced entry, but a beefy grid for Brands Hatch is looking increasingly likely as the busy schedule of races over the summer settles down.
With a number of the West-Tec entries unable to attend the meeting, and championship leader Ed Jones not racing, the man to beat at the coming weekend is CF Racing’s Chinese star, Sun Zheng. Twenty-one points off Jones’ lead, the young Chinese driver will have plenty of opportunity to create a lead over his rivals.
The West-Tec challenge at Spa has a distinctively Southern Hemisphere feel in the shape of New Zealander, Chris Vlok and Australian, Jordan Oon.
Oon is new to the British F3 International Series, but the move sees the 23-year-old Australian Formula 3 Championship podium finisher return to the team he contested last season's European F3 Open with.