The Formula 3 Australian Drivers' Championship, in association with CAMS and the Australian Motorsport Foundation, has announced several new initiatives designed to strengthen the series position as the premier place for young drivers to develop their driving skills in Australia.

Changes to the category's sporting regulations will allow drivers holding a CAMS Provisional Circuit licence to compete in Formula 3 and the introduction of an entry-level 'Scholarship Class' will ensure all drivers can compete in a world-class category at an affordable price.

The changes are designed to make it easier for young drivers to get a 'wings and slicks' education in Australia, where the domestic Formula 3 product is significantly more affordable than European alternatives.

The moves announced are the result of extensive discussions between Formula 3 Australia and discussions with CAMS and the AMSF.

"CAMS is delighted with the recent progress made in meetings held between representatives and leaders of Formula 3, Australian Motorsport Foundation and CAMS," said CAMS CEO Graham Fountain. "These meetings have been very constructive in mapping out the future of a viable and enhanced Formula 3 Australian Drivers' Championship."

To facilitate growth in this regard, CAMS has recently made changes to the Licensing requirements for this category which is totally consistent with CAMS renewed commitment with raising the participation and professionalism of the sport of all levels.

"I personally look forward to continuing to work with the new, young and motivated leadership team that has been assembled for Formula 3, and I am sure the ongoing collaboration will result in this category maintaining its position as a prestigious open wheel category within Australian Motorsport," he said.

Formula 3 Australia chairman Ian Richards said that the changes to the 2010 Formula 3 Australian Drivers' Championship would all be positives to ensure the continued growth of Formula 3 racing locally.

"Our future directions committee we established earlier this year has been working tirelessly to implement a new structure and a way forward for the Formula 3 Australian Drivers' Championship, and we are very pleased to be able to make these announcements as the first step," Richards said. "The Scholarship Class will achieve two things - namely, getting cars out of the garages and onto the track and secondly, introducing new people into the category in an affordable manor and with a lot of support from the Formula 3 community.

"This will have the flow-on affect of having more drivers racing in our outright class, for the Gold Star, in the future as well. We are very pleased with the support and communications that have been forthcoming with CAMS and the AMSF. It is crucial for us, if we are to be successful, to have their support and their modification of the licensing restrictions is a very positive step in the right direction for us as a category to enable us to grow."

The new Formula 3 Australian Drivers' Championship Scholarship class has been designed to offer a competitive entry-level point to the Formula 3 Australian Drivers' Championship before drivers' progress to the outright, Gold Star battle.

The Scholarship Class will replace the existing 'National A' and 'National B' classes and will run in conjunction with the outright class in a simplified two-tier structure within the championship.

The class will be made up of existing 2002 - 04, 1999 - 01 and invited 1996 - 98 model Formula 3 cars. F302 - F304 specification Dallara's will continue to be eligible for the outright, Gold Star battle as outright podium finishes scored in the past two years by drivers like Tom Tweedie, Tim Macrow and Karl Reindler indicate that the previous generation cars are still competitive.

A series of limited controls will ensure that teams do not have a significant initial outlay in purchasing parts, but can also focus on developing the driver rather than the car. However, standard F3 adjustability will be maintained to ensure drivers can gain a firm grasp of the engineering required to drive a Formula 3 car quickly.

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