Everything you need to know about F3 Cup 2012

05/04/2012 - The F3 Cup is set to burst on to the motorsport scene in 2012 with more than 20 drivers battling in 18 races to become the first F3 Cup champion.

05/04/2012 - The F3 Cup is set to burst on to the motorsport scene in 2012 with more than 20 drivers battling in 18 races to become the first F3 Cup champion, commencing at Oulton Park on Monday.

After its inaugural season last year, the series, which provides drivers of all abilities the opportunity to race in the most cost effective F3 championship available, has enjoyed rapid growth during the winter. Gaining championship status from the MSA, coupled with new regulations permitting more modern models and a calendar featuring the UK's best circuits, the new championship is poised to produce a thrilling title fight throughout 2012.          

F3 Cup features Formula 3 cars built between the early 1980s and 2007, which lap only a few seconds slower than the cars that race in the current British F3 Championship and at a fraction of the cost. The championship is split into three classes known as Cup, Trophy and Masters. The Cup Class features cars built between 2002-2007, the Trophy Class caters for F3 machinery from 1997-2001 and the Masters Class will see classic F3 cars from 1980-1996 do battle.

All drivers will be playing for points, which is new for this season, with the overall champion receiving a prize test drive in the FIA Formula Two car, a reward claimed by Aaron Steele last year. Drivers also have the chance to win a fully paid drive at America's Daytona International Speedway by taking part in the Sunoco GRAND-AM 200 Challenge, which runs alongside the championship. Also new for 2012 is the Teams Championship which should add to the competition this season.   

As well as visiting Oulton Park, the championship visits Donington Park, Silverstone National, Spa-Francorchamps, Snetterton 300 (x2), Brands Hatch GP, Anglesey International and Silverstone GP, with each race weekend consisting of one 25 minute qualifying session and two 20 minute races.             

In addition to the growing number of competitors, the F3 Cup is set to receive even more exposure with the majority of the rounds, including this weekend, being televised on the brand new Full Speed Racing programme on Motors TV.

A grid of 21 drivers made up of champions, race winners, rookies and veterans are due to line up on the grid, all hoping they can kick off the year in the best way possible. With so many changes for the 2012 season and a whole host of new drivers and new machinery joining seasoned campaigners, two extremely unpredictable and thrilling races are expected.

There will be live text commentary of the races via twitter at www.twitter.com/f3cup.  

Drivers and teams interested in joining the 2012 F3 Cup should contact championship co-ordinator Simon Davey on 07770 368648, email f3cup@msvracing.co.uk. For all the latest news and further announcements visit www.f3cup.co.uk. Follow F3 Cup on twitter at www.twitter.com/f3cup.