2016 Season Kicks-Off at MSVR Media Day
The 2016 F3 Cup season got underway on Tuesday (16th February) at the annual MSVR Media Day, held at Brands Hatch.
The 2016 F3 Cup season got underway on Tuesday (16th February) at the annual MSVR Media Day, held at Brands Hatch. A number of new and familiar faces represented the championship, as the sun shone at the Kent venue.
The day provided a debut for a number of new cars to the championship, as well as new drivers. F3 Cup stalwart Tony Bishop took advantage of the day to test his stunning new Chris Dittmann Racing-run Dallara F310 Opel-Speiss, which also represented F3 Cup at the Autosport International show back in January.
Daryl Jones, run by Team Fox Racing, was keen to run his new ex-Carlin Dallara F308 Volkswagen, the car used by young hotshot Zach Claman de Melo in F3 Cup last year. The Canadian drove the car to a number of outright wins and Daryl has the experience to be a serious contender in the championship this year. Team Fox Racing is another new outfit in 2016 and will also be keen to make their mark on the championship.
Another newcomer, George Line enjoyed running his new Dallara F311 NBE on the Indy circuit. George will be run by CF Racing this year, and team boss Hywel Lloyd is looking forward to seeing what they can achieve in ex-MX-5 racer George's maiden year in single-seaters.
Eponymous team boss Chris Dittmann seized the opportunity to take Stuart Wiltshire's Dallara F308 Mercedes out for the media tracking shots, though last year's championship runner-up arrived later to take the controls for the afternoon on-track sessions. Wiltshire was clearly excited to get back behind the wheel of the car he performed so well in throughout 2015.
MSVR Competition Secretary Simon Gnana-Pragasam explained in the press conference the changes and improvements in store for the 2016 season. He said: "The new F3 Open class has been introduced to further reduce the cost of competing in these incredible machines. Interest in the championship is higher than ever before, with over twenty teams and drivers having expressed their intent to compete this year, with the majority aiming for a full championship campaign."
2015 Teams' Champion Chris Dittmann joined Simon on the stage to recount a stellar year for his squad, taking the title which he was able to add to his own F3 Cup Drivers' Championship from 2012.
More new faces - this time sadly without their car, as it is prepared for the season - came from the University of Wolverhampton Race Team. Driver and Team Mentor Shane Kelly and Social Media Editor Tara Andrews were in attendance, and Shane told the assembled journalists about the team's ambitions for the year. Graduating from the Monoposto Championship, where they finished fourth in their first year of competition, he said: "UWR are looking forward to the technical challenges in the 2016 F3 Cup."
George Line also took part in the press conference, explaining what had drawn him to F3 Cup: "I tested the F3 car and it was like nothing else. It will be a big change from the Mazdas but I'm really looking forward to it!"
F3 Cup race action starts at Donington Park on 23-24 April. If you would like to find out more about competing in the UK's only dedicated Formula 3 championship please don't hesitate to get in touch, and download the 2016 Prospectus here.
A gallery of images from the day can be viewed here