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All-new BRDC British F3 to burst into life at Snetterton season opener

Thursday, March 24 2016

The 2016 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship is set to roar into action at this weekend's (March 27/28) season opening round at Snetterton, as the introduction of the new, more powerful Tatuus-Cosworth has seen BRDC F4 renamed and heralds the return of British F3.

With three races taking place across Easter Sunday and Monday, the entire BRDC British F3 grid will be looking to make a strong start to their 2016 campaigns on the 300 circuit, as the new car makes its full championship debut. Qualifying gets underway on the Sunday at 11:15, with lights out to start race one the same day at 15:35. The reverse grid race two takes place on Monday at 11:20 with the final 10-lap encounter of the weekend beginning at 15:25.

The new car has a more advanced aerodynamic package and upgraded Cosworth engine, which has seen lap times drop substantially and at a number of circuits come within one to two seconds of the British Formula 3 lap record. That increase in speed, which has seen the championship become the perfect feeder series from FIA F4, has attracted a number of new teams, a high quality grid of drivers from 10 different nations and a return of the British F3 name.

Carlin, Fortec Motorsports and Double R Racing, all heavyweights in the British Formula 3 Championship prior to its hiatus in 2015, have joined the paddock with the Surrey-based Carlin squad signing last year's MSA Formula Champion and runner-up, Lando Norris and Ricky Collard for 2016. They will be joined by Ameya Vaidyanathan who switches from Hillspeed.

Fortec Motorsport will run Tarun Reddy, the Indian MRF 1600 Champion in 2014, and Al Faisal Al Zubair, with the Omani joining his new team from Hillspeed. Double R will look to challenge with the Brazilian duo of Matheus Leist and Enzo Bortoleto, with Finnish driver and SMP F4 race-winner Aleksanteri Huovinen also racing for the team.

Champion outfit HHC Motorsport, who won the title with Will Palmer in 2015, has signed BRDC F4 race-winner Omar Ismail from Chris Dittmann Racing, Formula Jedi Champion Ben Hingeley and the Harrogate-outfit retains South African Sisa Ngebulana for 2016. Lanan Racing, who have won two BRDC F4 titles, will run Indian Akhil Rabindra, who returns for a crack at the championship and 2015 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award nominee Toby Sowery.

Corby-based squad Douglas Motorsport has signed a strong line-up for 2016 with Australian F4 runner-up Thomas Randle and MSA Formula rookie champion Enaam Ahmed joining the team. Sean Walkinshaw Racing (SWR) and Chris Dittmann Racing (CDR) both field cosmopolitan three-car entries, with SWR running South African Eugene Denyssen, Dane Jan Jonck and Australian Thomas Maxwell American Quinlan Lall, Kenyan Jeremy Wahome and Dutchman Paul Sieljes, for the opening round only, driving for CDR.

With eight different race winners in 2015, and 16 individual drivers stepping on to the podium at some point throughout the year, the BRDC Formula 4 Championship was renowned for its frenetic action and thrilling racing. With the introduction of the new Tatuus-Cosworth and the return of British F3, the on-track spectacle is set to be just as exciting as the championship steps into a new era at Snetterton this weekend.

Live timing and text updates will be available throughout the weekend on the official BRDC British Formula 3 website here, with a one-hour long highlights programme screened on ITV4 and BT Sport the week following the race meeting.