The 2009 Formula 3 Euroseries grid is destined to be the biggest yet after organisers revealed that 32 entries have already been snapped up, including a new team from ousted Force India F1 principal Colin Kolles.
The series, which started in 2003 following the amalgamation of the German and French national championships, attracted a grid of around 25 drivers in 2008, but the addition of two more teams is helping to boost numbers for next year.
Leading the list of entries is five-time title winners ART Grand Prix, who have applied for four spots on the grid. With previous winners including Jamie Green, Lewis Hamilton, Paul di Resta, Romain Grosjean and Nico Hulkenberg, it is expected that Jules Bianchi will be their team leader in 2009.
Elsewhere, British team Manor Motorsport have also earmarked four entries, while this year's runners-up Signature-Plus, Mucke Motorsport, Prema Powerteam, SG Formula and RC Motorsport are planning three cars each. Carlin Motorsport and HBR Motorsport are eyeing two cars, while Jo Zeller Racing are set to enter a single machine too.
In addition, Motopark Academy and Kolles & Heinz Union have also announced they will enter two cars each.
Motopark Academy comes to the series having enjoyed success at Formula Renault level, not least this year when they ran Valtteri Bottas to the 2008 Eurocup title. The Finn has since become hot property on the F3 market during the off-season and has tested for ART.
However, it is Kolles' new project that will garner plenty of attention. Having been dropped by Force India F1 after four years in charge, Kolles has chosen to go back to his F3 roots with a brand new team.
It will be the first time Kolles has run an F3 team since he fronted Team Midland back in 2005, although he has been involved in the Futurecom TME Audi DTM outfit since then.