“Depth of Competition”
Italian chassis constructor Dallara have dominated the Formula 3 category for much of the last two decades. Long term success with Prema Powerteam, Carlin, Signature and Mücke, as well as the departed ART Grand Prix, have seen the company effectively become the defacto manufacturer as time passed.
That’s not to say Formula 3 has become a closed door to other constructors. While the likes of Dome and Mygale has dipped their toes in the water to test the current regulations, only the Russian-based ArtLine Engineering have stepped up to challenge Dallara.
ArtLine have a long road ahead of them and the team admit that their first attempt at a current car was simple in some ways, but controversial in others. Seemingly boxey and rudimentary aero works along the engine cover and sidepods disguise some neat tricks, among them additional turning vanes on the front wing, vertical vanes on the diffuser and neatly curved bargeboard panel.
Their initial exhaust design fell foul of the stewards, mainly due to its concept of exhausts peering either side of the engine cover. That it would have required Neil Brown Engineering to homologate an additional exhaust specifically for that purpose also contravened the regulations.
ArtLine started slowly at the penultimate round at the Nurburgring – they needed to, but they are not so far away from the competition. At only 2.5s off during qualifying at the European F3 finale, ArtLine have made plenty of progress but still have much to do.
Don’t be surprised if they show up in 2016 with more to offer.