The European F3 Open revealed a change of identity of Friday with the series now rebranded as the Euroformula Open.
With pressure mounting from the FIA for all series’ with the Formula 3 title to adopt F3 technical and sporting regulations, series promoters have sidestepped the issue by merely rebranding the category.
According to Jesus Pareja, CEO of GT Sport: “Only the brand changes, not the content. The new Euroformula Open will continue to be the same.”
With the FIA pushing for title clarity amongst championships, maintaining the F3 title would have severely raised the costs in the series – a point laboured by Pareja. “To keep the F3 denomination would have entailed to adopt the new FIA F3 engine rules, something that would have had severe budget implications for the teams. We are of the view that this is not wise, especially in the current economic context.”
Pareja continued, “We think that offering a high performance formula at the most reasonable cost possible is the right way forward. This is our philosophy and we will continue to provide our competitors the same competitive package as in the past.”
The Euroformula Open Series have introduced engine upgrades to their previously detuned Toyota motors, which have brought the power level up somewhat.
Pareja believes this and the low-cost nature of the series will make it an attractive option for drivers and teams. “With the 2014 engine up-grade, the Euroformula Open cars will have a performance level similar to any other series using F.3 chassis. For us, to retain the freedom to further improve the performance package and the cost-effectiveness in the future is a crucial point.”
He then concluded by adding: “The name change also allows avoiding confusion with the European F.3 Championship recently re-instated by the FIA. We definitely think that preserving the essence of our series is more important than how it is called and we look forward to an exciting 2014 season.”
Meanwhile, the first Euroformula pre-season test took place in Jerez this week, with Yarin Stern proving quick in his new-for-2014 Team West-Tec machine. Stern topped both Friday and Saturday running, with a best of 1:35.830 on the second day.
Also running over the two days were former Red Bull junior driver Beitske Visser and Yu Kanamuru (both Emilio de Villota Motorsport), Christopher Hoeher and Tanart Sathienthirakul (Team West-Tec) and Alex Palos (Campos Racing) amongst several others.