The first official test session of the British F3 International Series marked a historic moment for the championship as the cars on track turned laps on something other than Avon rubber for the first time in almost 30 years.

Cooper Tires will come in as official tyre supplier for the series this year and will also act as title sponsor, replacing 2008-backers Lloyds TSB, with the Snetterton test giving teams the chance to sample the 2009 tyres for the first time.

Avon had previously held the role of tyre supplier in British F3 since 1982 but a three-year deal revealed back in October will see parent company Cooper Tire take over the position this season as it seeks to expand its brand in Europe.

"Through our many years in British F3 with the Avon brand, we know that it is a genuine stepping stone of great drivers on the way to F1, and therefore requires the very best components in every area," Julian Baldwin, managing director of Cooper Tire Europe, said. "Avon Tyres is very well established in British and European motor racing and, as Cooper Tire grows as a brand in Europe, we want it to stand for the same standard of quality.

"Cooper's racing tyres deserve to be allied with a high-profile championship in Europe and you don't get much bigger than British F3."

Avon will continue to act as tyre supplier and title sponsor for the British GT Championship this year.



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