“ATS Volkswagen cars barred from entering remaining British F3 rounds”

Invitational entrants from the ATS Formel 3 Cup are to be denied entrance for the remaining British F3 rounds should they be running the German series’ boosted Volkswagen engines.

Following the success of John Bryant-Meisner at the opening weekend at Silverstone last month, British F3 team association, FOTA, and promoter SRO declared the Volkswagen engine package too dominant a package.

With the British F3 Series still in a state of relative ill health, it was felt that such domination could potentially hamper recovery efforts.

Running an evolution Dallara F310 with Volkswagen’s Power Engine model, Bryant-Meisner powered his way to two poles and victories {note 1}, although the Swede could do no better than 9th in the reverse grid race.

Noting the hugely superior performance during free practice, attempts were made to restrict the power output of Bryant-Meisner’s machine in order to better balance performance.
However even with boost reduction and extra weight, the Performance Racing Dallara proved too much for the opposition, registering a top speed some 6mph faster on the Hangar Straight than his nearest rival.

Peter Briggs, head of FOTA, commented, “The older car has got too much power and too much aero. You can’t penalise it enough to make it a viable thing.”
While one sympathises with the position the British series found itself in at Silverstone, it did come as some surprise that this issue was not considered a possibility prior to the May bank holiday meeting.
Dallara’s F308 chassis – and the various updates that came until it was replaced at the end of 2011 – is a well-known quantity to the International Class teams present. Less tangible for the British F3 squads are the regulations governing the ATS Formel 3 Cup engine package, although one wonders if enough information was available to make a thorough assessment of its potential output.

Meanwhile, it appears Alexander Sims will be returning to Formula 3, albeit temporarily next month. The Blancpain racer is set to race with T-Sport at the Norisring and Nurburgring when the FIA European F3 Championship returns from its summer sojourn.
This follows on from the departure from T-Sport of Will Buller, who joined Fortec following the fourth round at Brands Hatch in May. Toyota Racing Series champion Nick Cassidy also tested with T-Sport earlier this month; however the Kiwi racer’s lack of funds prevented him from joining the team.

It was also reported in Autosport last week {note 2} that Paul Ricard may be dropped from the European F3 calendar due to a fallout with the FFSA regarding track time for the F3 round.
A decision as to what may replace Paul Ricard may be announced at the FIA World Motorsport Council meeting on June 28th.

{note 1}
Bryant-Meisner took pole positions by 0.934s (race one) and 0.837s (race three) over Carlin’s Jordan King at Silverstone. With race two a reverse grid event, no qualifying session was run.

{note 2}
“European F3 set to drop Paul Ricard from calendar” {Autosport.com, June 7th; Jamie O’Leary}

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