The second generation GP3 car was launched to the world’s media at Monza yesterday evening.
Titled the GP3/13, it will be replacing the GP3/10 chassis following three years of service in the category.
As well as a new car, the engine package has also been beefed up, with the new motor boasting an impressive 400 bhp, compared to 280 bhp utilised by the category’s first generation model.
Oh and the GP3/13 sounds better. Far, far, far better than the previous model. You can hear this machine and like it at the same time.
At the launch in Monza yesterday, the GP3/13 was fired up by MW Arden team principal and Formula One driver Mark Webber in front of a specially gathered audience.
The new car represents an interesting move for the GP3 Series, as it aims to take its first step away from a technically crowded sector amidst single seater racing.
Also modified have been the nose section, sidepods and engine cover; all of which have designed to make the GP3/13 a far more enjoyable challenge machine than its predecessor.
It is also believed the boost in power and aerodynamic efficiency will bring the category further in line with the long established GP2 Series.
Despite the extra power and aero mods, it is thought the car will command the same price tag – a subject that has garnered great relevance in recent years, as sponsors scraper and economies continue to struggle.
Surrounded by a number of junior category formulae that all run from 180 bhp to approximately 280 bhp, the GP3/13 signifies a welcome departure from the pack.
Like the previous machine, the new car will be in service for three seasons, with slots for nine teams being made available for tender.
Teams whose applications are successful can either two of three drivers – a continuation of the relaxed regulations that were introduced at the beginning of the year to help teams facing huge financial burdens. GP3’s relationship with Pirelli continues unaltered.
Bruno Michel (GP3 Series CEO):
“I am very proud of this new generation car. Our main objective was to make sure that GP3 remains the best way to prepare young drivers for the next steps, GP2 and F1, which is why we designed a more powerful and more selective car that – among other things reduces, the gap between GP3 and GP2.
“In order to do so, we carefully assessed the different single seater categories below GP2 and took into account observations from our drivers and teams. We’re convinced that the way we’ve positioned the GP3/13 is the right one for the next three seasons.
“Even if the car has evolved quite a lot, the costs will be almost similar to what they were before. That was key. The teams will not have to buy a new car. We will provide them with a development kit. It was quite a challenge seeing how the aerodynamics and the engine are different. And speaking of the engine, we go from 280 to 400hp for the same price.
“Now, it all boils down to selecting the nine teams for the next three seasons with at least two cars per team, three maximum so we will have a top figure of twenty-seven cars on the grid. We will announce the teams entry list soon.
“We will keep a calendar of eight race events in 2013. So far, since the inception of the GP3 Series, the field has always been competitive and I am sure that our new package will be even more attractive to young drivers who will crave to race in front of the GP2 and the F1 paddocks. Racing on the same European F1 tracks and on a car that will prepare them best for GP2 before, hopefully, going further. More than ever before, GP3 is the best logical stepping stone for drivers whose ambition is to move to F1.”
Mario Isola (Pirelli Racing Manager):
“The new GP3 car is a very exciting development for young drivers all over the world and we look forward to supplying our latest generation of tyres for it next year, having equipped the championship since 2010.
“With a significant increase in power we will revise the specifications of our GP3 range in 2013 in order to best suit the characteristics of the new car and enhance the spectacle of the racing. The new car and tyres will bring GP3 even closer to GP2, which has firmly established itself as the premier feeder series to Formula One.
“Our aim is to help prepare young drivers for the pinnacle of the sport as much as we can and this will be reflected in next year’s GP3 tyre range.”