Preview: Rounds 1-3, Donington Park
F3 Cup starts its 2017 season this weekend with a strong and highly competitive entry.
F3 Cup starts its 2017 season this weekend with a strong and highly competitive entry. After the cliff-hanging finale at the end of 2016 most of last season's runners have returned for another bite at the cherry. Combined with the arrival of several new drivers, and the introduction of 2012-2016 spec cars this season is looking to be fascinating and exciting.
Current F3 Cup Champion George Line heads the entry in his Dallara F308, resplendent with a new engine for this season. George also has a new sponsor to help his F3 Cup title defence, Camozzi Pneumatics Ltd. The company, whose UK base is in Nuneaton, is renowned as a supplier of race car jacking systems and a multitude of industrial pneumatic solutions. Line will also continue his successful partnerships with Jon Williams Stables & Garages of Chippenham, Northampton Motorsport and CF Racing.
Shane Kelly in the University of Wolverhampton Racing Team Dallara missed the Drivers title by teh slimmest of margins last year, and he and the UW Team are back to make another challenge. Last year they were quicker than anyone for the first half of the season and should be straight out of the blocks again.
Last year's Team Champions CF Racing, have a strong four car line up with Stuart Wiltshire, Jacopo Sebastiani, and James Heffernan forming up with George Line. All of these drivers are capable of a win so the Team may take some managing! Chris Dittmann Racing has a three car effort including experienced Euro-racer Peter Venn, quick Irish racer Cian Carey, and Phillip Jeans who has transferred from Radicals. Team Fox Racing field two very determined racers: Tony Bishop and Robbie Watts. Robbie started last season literally with a handicap, a broken arm, but he is in one piece this year and should be a major title contender.
There are singleton entries from Mark Harrison, Richard Purcell, Malcolm Scot and Adrian Holey, in his lovely Trophy Class Dallara F300. With several more driver/car combinations expected to join the grid early in the season, F3 Cup is set for a champion year.