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GP3 provisional calendar published

GP3 organisers have published a provisional calendar for 2012 that will see the series running alongside the European rounds of F1 and GP2 during the summer.
The GP3 Series has unveiled a provisional eight-round calendar of race weekends for 2012, with organisers also hoping to run at Monaco for the first time.

The series will be holding races at the same venues as F1 and GP2 events in Europe during the summer, starting with Barcelona in Spain on May 11-13. The other venues include Valencia, Silverstone, Hockenheim, Budapest and Spa-Francorchamps, with the season finale scheduled for Monza on September 7-9.

"Once again we are very pleased to confirm that the 2012 GP3 season will run alongside F1 and GP2 in Europe," said the CEO of GP3 Bruno Michel. "In such a competitive environment, it is key for young drivers to gain race experience on current F1 tracks."

Whether GP3 gets to compete on the legendary road course in Monaco depends on approval from the local motorsport authority, ASN. GP3 organisers tried to get a Monaco round accepted in 2011, but a lack of space in and around the crowded principality during race weeks meant that it ultimately did not go ahead.

2012 will be the third season of the championship, which is increasingly being seen as the official "junior feeder series" to the main F1 feeder series, GP2, so that together they establish a roadmap for aspiring drivers who want to make it to the top of single-seater open-wheel racing. As GP2 continues to grow (and combines its Europe and Asia seasons for the first time in 2012), the aim for GP3 is to keep alive some of that series' original core values of performance, cost control, entertainment, safety and preparation.

Trident Racing will be competing in GP3 for the first time in 2012, after having reached agreement with the Addax team to take its place in the championship next season. Addax said that they wanted to focus exclusively on their "core activity" of GP2 after clinching the team title in the main feeder series in 2011 with Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic.

"The first two seasons of GP3 have delivered some great racing and have showcased promising talents starting with champions Esteban Gutierrez and Valtteri Bottas, both of whom have already been signed up by F1 teams as reserve drivers," noted Michel, who is also CEO for GP2. "Eleven drivers so far have graduated to GP2 which reaffirms our commitment to preparing young racers for the next step in their careers. Our young series is getting stronger each year and we are expecting 2012 to be just as successful and exciting.”

The series also announced three two-day test sessions to be held before the start of the season at Estoril, Barcelona and Silverstone, with a fourth mid-season on Valencia's Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo Circuit.

2012 provisional calendar

February 21-22 Estoril Portugal (Test)
March 12-13 Barcelona Spain (Test)
April 11-12 Silverstone, Great Britain (Test)
May 11-13 Barcelona Spain
May 24-27 Monte Carlo Monaco (To be confirmed)
June 14-15 Valencia Spain (Test)
June 22-24 Valencia Spain
July 6-8 Silverstone Great Britain
July 20-22 Hockenheim Germany
July 27-29 Budapest Hungary
Aug 31 - Sep 2 Spa-Francorchamps Belgium
September 7-9 Monza Italy

Test dates shown in italics



Related Pictures

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GP3 and GP2 logos [Photo credit: Drew Gibson/GP3 Media Service.]
Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) in action at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Saturday 5 July 2014. (Photo: Ebrey/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) celebrates in parc fermé at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Sunday 6 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) celebrates on the podium at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Sunday 6 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin), Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) & Johnny Cecotto (VEN, Trident) celebrate on the podium at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Sunday 6 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Richie Stanaway (NZL, Status Grand Prix) celebrates his win on the podium at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England. Sunday 6 July. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Richie Stanaway (NZL, Status Grand Prix) , Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Carlin) and Nick Yelloly (GBR, Status Grand Prix) on the podium after race two at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England. Sunday 6 July. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Richie Stanaway (NZL, Status Grand Prix) at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Saturday 5 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Richie Stanaway (NZL, Status Grand Prix) in action at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Friday 4 July 2014. (Photo: Jakob Ebrey/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) celebrates after winning GP3 race 1 at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Saturday 5 July 2014. (Photo: Adam Warner/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) celebrates after winning GP3 race 1 at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Saturday 5 July 2014. (Photo: Adam Warner/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) celebrates after winning GP3 race 1 at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Saturday 5 July 2014. (Photo: Adam Warner/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Saturday 5 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP), leads Alex Lynn (GBR, Carlin) & Jann Mardenborough (GBR, Arden International) into turn 1 in the first GP3 race of the weekend at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Saturday 5 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Mitch Evans (NZL, RT RUSSIAN TIME) celebrates his win at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Saturday 5 July 2014. (Photo: Adam Warner/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Mitch Evans (NZL, RT RUSSIAN TIME) celebrates his win on the podium with 2nd position Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) and 3rd position Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Saturday 5 July 2014. (Photo: Adam Warner/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Mitch Evans (NZL, RT RUSSIAN TIME) Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Friday 4 July 2014. (Photo: Adam Warner/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Mitch Evans (NZL, RT RUSSIAN TIME) at Silverstone International Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England Friday 4 July 2014. (Photo: Jakob Ebrey/GP2 Series Media Service.)

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