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Da Costa and Sainz Jr for F3 Cup at Snetterton this weekend

Thursday, October 24 2013

This weekend's (26-27 October) final round of the MSV-run F3 Cup championship will feature three of international motor racing's biggest rising stars as they prepare for the end-of-season Macau Grand Prix classic.

For the second year in succession the F3 Cup finale will include Red Bull Racing Junior drivers, with Carlos Sainz Jr joining Antonio Felix da Costa, both returning to the category. Antonio won both of 2012's end-of-season races at the Norfolk circuit, whilst Sainz, the son of World Rally legend and double champion Carlos, dominated Snetterton's round of the British F3 Championship in 2012.

Both will be run by the Carlin team, with which da Costa won the F3 Cup races, before doing the same at the Macau Grand Prix. Sainz, who has competed in the Formula 1-supporting GP3 Series this season, will be reunited with the squad with whom he contested the British F3 Championship. Macau Grand Prix rules state that a driver must compete in at least one F3 race during the season.

'I think preparing for Macau at Snetterton as part of the F3 Cup is ideal," Sainz said. "It is exactly what Antonio did last year and he went on to get the win. He got a lot out of it and I'm sure that I will as well. I'm looking forward to getting back in the car at Snetterton where I have previously won and also can't wait to get back in the F3 car!'

Meanwhile Lotus F1 Junior Team driver Esteban Ocon is also set to appear on the F3 Cup grid with Lanan Racing. He has spent 2013 racing in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula Renault 2.0 NEC with the ART Junior Team, where he has been a regular podium visitor. He took a maiden win in Eurocup at Paul Ricard last month to move him to third in the standings behind Oliver Rowland and leader Pierre Gasly and won at Hockenheim at the opening round of the NEC season.

Unlike Sainz and da Costa, this will be Ocon's first visit to Snetterton and his first competitive taste of F3 machinery. All three will run in the invitational class to avoid affecting a delicately poised title race, in which former GP3 racer Alice Powell will go head-to-head with points leader Alex Craven and Tristan Cliffe. Neither can take the title in the opening race of the weekend's double-header, so it will go right down to the wire.

Snetterton will see several titles decided this weekend, plus appearances from Sir Chris Hoy and circuit owner Jonathan Palmer's youngest son Will in the Radical SR1 race, whilst BTCC star Tom Onslow-Cole will compete in the Atom Cup races.

Tickets for this weekend's MSVR Club Car Championships at Snetterton are available on the gate from £13 with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information please call 0843 453 9000 or click here.