GP3 Series CEO Bruno Michel has confirmed this week that the championship is to make revisions to its current Dallara chassis for the 2013 season, and will be introducing a new and more powerful engine.
"We want our car to be more powerful and more selective in order to make it an even better learning tool for young drivers who wish to graduate to GP2 and then to F1," said Michel.
The current GP3/10 chassis will see upgrades to its nose, sidepods and engine cover to produce the GP3/13, and the series will also be working with Pirelli to make the tyres used in GP3 closer to the ones used in GP2 and F1.
But the biggest adjustment will be in the engine department, which will see a totally new specification naturally-aspirated 400bhp engine which will make the drivers gain three to four seconds per lap on average compared with the existing turbocharged 280bhp two-litre unit, according to Michel. Engines are currently supplied to the series by Renault F1.
“When we started to think about our next generation car, we based our design on what has made the series a success since its inception," said Michel: "A low cost machine that best prepared the drivers for GP2 with a high level of downforce and the same kind of tyres as GP2 and F1.
“The costs will be quite similar to the ones today, but this new car will be much more selective and powerful," he added.
In order to keep the costs down through the upgrade, Michel said that the changes to the current car to produce the GP3/13 would be implemented as an upgrade kit for the teams to instal, rather than teams having to buy a completely new chassis from Dallara.
While GP3 succeeded in adding a prestigious round at Monaco to the 2012 calendar, Michel said that the organisers were focused on keeping costs under control on all fronts.
“We will also keep nine teams and a maximum of twenty-seven cars on the grid," Michel confirmed. "We feel like thirty cars was too many and this season, we can see that twenty-seven is a perfect number for our series," he said, while adding that teams wishing to enter GP3 for the next three-year cycle would be welcome to apply for entry.
Although teams are appointed for a three-year period, there can be changes to the year-on-year line-up during that time by all-party agreement. Prior to the 2012 season, Trident Racing took over from Addax and Ocean Racing Technology replaced Tech 1 Racing on the season entry list.
The original tenth team in GP3, RSC Mucke Motorsport, terminated its participation in the series earlier this year without agreeing a substitute and had therefore faced a legal dispute with GP3 over the breach of the three-year agreement.