Brands Hatch Leisure is to promote a British Formula 3000 Championship next year, both to bridge the gap between national Formula Three and international series for aspiring single-seater drivers, and to help boost the company’s prestige following the loss of the Grand Prix to Silverstone.
A provisional calendar proposes nine events— three at the Kent circuit itself, two at Oulton Park, and one each at Donington Park, Silverstone, Thruxton and Snetterton. Races will be between 100-150km in length, for cars to full FIA specification. A class for obsolete 3-litre Grand Prix cars is also being considered. Fully supported by FISA’s Vice-President for Promotional Affairs, Bernie Ecclestone, the series is set to supplant F3 as this country’s most potent open-wheeled category since the Aurora F1 Championship of the 1970s.
The latter succumbed (as indeed did Formula Two by 1984) as a result of dwindling grids of declining quality, but International F3000 and British F3 are both currently oversubscribed and BHL clearly, believes there is a market in the middleground for those without the finance to graduate to the European arena.
Perhaps unfortunately, the announcement comes just two weeks after a disastrous visit to Brands by the European F3000 circus, whose race required two restarts, put three top competitors in hospital after major accidents and provoked widespread criticism of the driving standards exhibited by young chargers with 450 bhp at their disposal. The aim of British F3000 is to give the talented but under-financed valuable extra opportunities, but the risk is that it will simply encourage too many drivers to become acquainted with too much power too soon. A number of prominent FIA Championship teams are based in this country, notably race-winners Bromley Motorsport, Eddie Jordan Racing and GA Motorsport.