RESTRUCTURE BRINGS END OF YEAR SHOOTOUT TO F3
The Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship has today announced a restructure of the second half of the 2010 season designed to stimulate growth within the category.
A three-round 'series within a series' will now complete the 2010 Gold Star season, kicking off at Morgan Park Raceway in Warwick before progressing to Eastern Creek in Sydney, and Sandown in Melbourne.
It is planned that the Formula 3 'East Coast Shootout' will become a mainstay of future seasons as a focal point within the overall Australian Drivers Championship chase.
The East Coast Shootout will be structured similar to the New Zealand-based Toyota Racing Series' International title, which is run within their existing championship.
It will allow drivers to compete in three focussed rounds for a title separate to that of the overall season's championship. As such, it will also allow drivers who have only contested a partial schedule to date, or who were intending on competing later in the year, an opportunity to win a title despite not completing the full championship trail.
Sponsorship and incentives for the series are currently being sourced and will be designed to especially reward competitors who compete in all three rounds, but also offer a tangible reward for drivers of all cars to strive for.
In response to feedback from competitors and partners, the series has decided to contest seven rounds this year as a cost saving initiative and as such will no longer compete at Winton Raceway in June as previously scheduled.
These initiatives have been implemented with the full support of the Shannons Nationals, of which Formula 3 Australia is a core category and stakeholder.
Further incentives, prizes, sponsorship and other details will be announced when available.
The Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship acknowledges the ongoing support of major sponsors Kumho Tyres and Meguiar's.
IAN RICHARDS - Chairman, Formula 3 Australia
"We are always assessing our position and doing what we can to offer value to those competing and to those looking to compete within the series.
"It was clear that we needed to shake up the establishment and be more proactive to ensure a strong finish to the year and this is just the first part of that effort. We have never been so busy following opportunities for potential growth for Formula 3 racing in this part of the world.
"The numbers on the circuit may not reflect this at the moment however there must be a longer term, broader approach to this and that is what we are putting in place. There is a strong, viable future for Formula 3 racing within Australasia and we continue to work to that goal."
RICHARD CRAILL - Program Manager, F3 East Coast Shootout
"As a series we are continuing to look forward and find opportunities to grow and build the series to a sustainable and healthier level. We saw great success from the unofficial Queensland Raceway - Oran Park doubleheader we ran last year and are building on this concept for 2010 by creating a 'series within a series'.
"We are confident this can stimulate tangible growth within the category and get cars on track for an exciting three-race series that will allow us to complete the year strongly.
"Combining rounds allows us to offer a competitive entry package to competitors and generate further competition across the grid. The shootout will be structured to encompass and reward everyone irrespective of whether they are driving a '01 car, an '04 or an F307.
"Drivers who have not contested all of the rounds to date like Kristian Lindbom and Ben Crighton, for example, will have an opportunity to win some silverware and be included in the other incentives we are working on to give this as big a boost as possible.
"We are looking forward to racing at Morgan Park and in Queensland, which is now a real F3 stronghold, whilst also watching the very tight battle for the overall Gold Star title."
MARK RUNDLE - Team BRM Team Manager
"We will support anything that gives more to our drivers and we support this concept to inject more pizzazz into the final three rounds.
"Adding marquee events encourages the drivers and our team to push harder, because we all want to win everything that is on offer - the growth of the F3 SuperPrix event is proof of that. We're looking forward to the last three rounds and seeing our drivers go after the title of the first 'East Coast Shootout' winner."
TOM TWEEDIE - F3 ADC Championship Leader
"We are very focussed on the task of winning the Australian Drivers Championship which is our overall goal at Team Tom, but the opportunity to compete also for a three-round series is also one we'll tackle as hard as we can.
"Coming out on top of that and the overall championship would make for a pretty spectacular end to the year for our small team!
"Everyone has been working very hard to make it a success and I'm sure it will be. I'm personally looking forward to some more people coming out in '04 cars and taking the fight up to those 07s!
"Having this midyear break is a good way for everyone to sit down and have a think on how we approach the last three rounds. Morgan Park will be very interesting as everyone is effectively starting with a clean sheet of paper and Eastern Creek and Sandown will also provide very close racing like last year which I'm really looking forward to."
"From a drivers perspective the last three rounds are going to raise the bar. You will have a mix of contenders trying to win the East Coast Shootout whilst existing championship runners will also be playing strategy to win the Gold Star Championship and with an injection of more cars we'll all have to be right on our game to win."