Asian Formula 3 will switch to a winter format for its third season, which will include five rounds taking place across 2019 and 2020.
The Regional F3 championship, which uses the same Tatuus T-318 chassis and Alfa Romeo engine combination as Formula Regional European Championship and W Series, was started in 2018 and introduced its own separate winter series ahead of its second season.
It made headlines when Red Bull sent Dan Ticktum to the series in the mistaken belief that he would be able to claim FIA Superlicence points from competing, a problem that should be avoided by making the regular season winter-based.
A change in the Superlicence regulations means drivers can claim points from two non-clashing series per calendar year, and Asian F3 has made sure its 2019-20 season is wrapped up “ahead of the start of the racing seasons in Europe and Japan”.
All five of the rounds will be held on FIA Grade 1 circuits, with former Malaysian Grand Prix venue Sepang acting as season opener for the third successive time on December 14-15.
After a break new year festivities, the championship then heads to the Middle East for the first time with races at Dubai Autodrome (January 10-11) and Abu Dhabi GP track Yas Marina (January 17-18). Both rounds will share a bill with Formula 4 UAE, with the Dubai round also acting as a undercard to the circuit?s 24 hour race.
The final two rounds, also held back-to-back, are at Sepang (February 14-15) and Thailand’s Buriram circuit (February 22-23). On these two occasions the championship will support the Asian Le Mans Series.
?The 2020 F3 Asian Championship calendar is designed specifically to meet the needs of the drivers, who are looking to develop their careers as quickly as possible, as well as for the teams,” said Davide De Gobbi, general manager of the championship organising Top Speed organisation.
“With zero compromise on the quality of the championship, we have minimized costs and travel time, maximized track time, and enabled drivers to earn Super Licence points from the championship even before the start of the traditional European and Japanese seasons.?
The 2019 Asian F3 season still has two rounds remaining, both at Chinese GP venue Shanghai. Seven drivers can mathematically claim the crown, although realistically the title is a straight fight between Hitech GP team-mates Ukyo Sasahara and Jack Doohan.