Australian ace Will Power will join compatriot Will Davison in this year's British Formula 3 Championship, having agreed a deal to pilot a rare Ralt chassis for Diamond Racing.

The Australian F3 graduate will be behind the wheel of a Mugen Honda-powered F303 from the start of the season, scheduled for Donington Park in early April, and is expected to be the only Ralt runner at the opening round.

The Piquet Sports team, which will be running Nelsinho Piquet in the UK this year, has made a decision to start the season the a more familiar Dallara, rather than the Ralt the team bought after testing it in Brazil at the end of 2002. The team and driver - the son of triple F1 world champion Nelson Piquet - are new to the championship and have informed Ralt that the decision was not performance-related, but one based on the realisation that the season will be hard enough as a new team to Britain.

Diamond team boss Hughie Absalom, watched the 23-year old Power test an F3 car at Silverstone last year, and believes that he has what it takes to make an impact on the British series in 2003.

"I felt Will was well capable of being the kind of guy to get the best out of a car like the Ralt," he explained.

Absalom has run cars in the past for a variety of drivers, including both Mika Hakkinen and Takuma Sato, and sees the job of running what could be a lone Ralt and a driver unfamiliar with British circuits as something to be relished.

"I see this as yet another challenge in my life - and I have had a few in my time," he commented.

Ralt's Steve Ward was delighted with the Welshman's decision - and with his choice of pilot for 2003.

"With Hughie's experience and Will's speed, I am sure we have a great combination to show just how competitive the Ralt is," he said, "We have been working hard over the winter on making improvements to the 2002 chassis and can't wait to get back testing so Will can give us his impressions of the car."

Power, from Toowoomba in Queensland, won the Australian Gold Star Formula Holden Championship and was runner-up in the Australian Formula 3 Championship in 2002. In his native country he has also raced in karts, Formula Ford and production cars under the watchful eye of his father, and former racing driver, Bob.