The GP3 Series is a one-make championship consisting of identical cars designed for three years. The first generation car – the GP3/10 – has already crowned Esteban Gutiérrez and Valtteri Bottas as 2010 and 2011 Champions respectively. It is currently in its final season, with the first two rounds of 2012 down and four different race winners in four races.
Time has come to design and develop the second generation car which will be running in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The technical process and philosophy of this new machine are aimed at making the GP3/13 a faster and more powerful car, thanks to a naturally aspirated 400hp engine. Although the car will keep the same level of downforce, its design will be modified with a new nose, sidepods and engine cover. In spite of these major improvements, the Series goal is to keep in line with today’s costs and budget.
The shakedown of the GP3/13 development car will take place early this summer and will be revealed in Monza during the Formula One Grand Prix race weekend.
A total of nine teams will be given an entry slot for the next three seasons for a maximum of twenty-seven cars on the grid, and the entry process is now open.
GP3 Series CEO Bruno Michel said: “When we started to think about our next generation car, we based our design on what has made the Series a success since its inception which was a low cost machine that best prepared the drivers for GP2 with a high level of downforce and the same kind of tyres as GP2 and F1, but we also added two major parameters: we want our car to be more powerful and more selective in order to make it an even better learning tool for young drivers who wish to graduate to GP2 and then to F1.
“To achieve this, we have thus opted for a naturally aspirated 400hp engine which will make the drivers gain 3 to 4 seconds per lap on average, but we have also decided to redesign part of the car such as the nose, the sidepods and the engine cover, of course. We will also focus on working a lot with Pirelli in order to make the GP3 tyres closer to the ones used in GP2 and in F1.
“The costs will be quite similar to the ones today, but this new car will be much more selective and powerful. The modifications on the car will be implemented in the form of an upgrade kit in order to save the teams from purchasing a brand new chassis, thus being cost effective.
“We will also keep nine teams and a maximum of twenty-seven cars on the grid. We feel like thirty cars was too many and this season, we can see that twenty-seven is a perfect number for our Series. Teams who wish to gain entry for the next three years are welcome to send us an application from today.”