Silverstone – the home of British motorsport – is to play host to the jewel in the crown of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship and Cooper Tires British Formula 3 Series season over the May Bank Holiday weekend.
The Cooper Tires British Formula 3 Series kicks off its 2013 season at the Northamptonshire circuit, with a field of nearly 20 cars already confirmed to take to the track for the weekend’s three races.
Long regarded as an integral rung on the single-seater motorsport ladder, with Formula 1 stars from Ayrton Senna and Nelson Piquet to Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne having tasted title glory, British F3 remains a highly respected motorsport proving ground for the F1 stars of tomorrow.
Reigning champions, Carlin, have confirmed a three-car squad for Silverstone. Harbury’s Jordan King and former Nissan GT Academy winner, Cardiff’s Jann Mardenborough - who made the switch from sportscars to single-seaters in 2013 - will be joined by Canada’s Nicholas Lafiti for the Silverstone meeting.
Speaking ahead of the Silverstone weekend King, who attends Princethorpe College in Warwickshire, said: ‘We’ve already raced at Silverstone once this year so it’s given me a heads up to the track and what to expect in the Formula 3 car. I think that this, along with a decent amount of testing there, puts us in a good position so I’m feeling confident.
“The only real unknown is going to be traffic – I think there’s going to be a mixture of cars on track so we’ll wait and see but it’s going to be good to be on track there again.”
Meanwhile, in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship, bumper grids and a host of new team entries, including the Italian outfits AF Corse and Vita4One Italy, have already provided some spectacular racing this season, but it’s the Silverstone round which is truly regarded as the jewel in the crown of the UK’s premier endurance racing series.
A huge field of 48 cars from no fewer than nine different manufacturers is expected for the three-hour race – the longest on the British GT calendar – including flame-spitting muscle cars such as the Ferrari 458 Italia, the Audi R8 LMS Ultra, the Porsche 997 and many more.
Reigning GT3 class champion, Michael Caine, currently lies in sixth place in the points table, which is headed by David Ashburn and Nick Tandy.
In the GT4 class, Zoe Wenham and Declan Jones head into the Silverstone weekend with a 39.5-point lead in the standings.
Qualifying for the Cooper Tires British F3 Series and Avon Tyres British GT Championship rounds will take place on Saturday 25 May with one British F3 race following on Saturday afternoon. Two more F3 races plus the three-hour GT race will take place on Sunday.