Double R Racing will undertake Euroformula Open’s first Balance of Performance test for the HWA-tuned Mercedes-Benz engine at Jerez this week, ahead of a possible 2019 entry.
The Woking-based team, which is on course to win both the British Formula 3 and 4 titles this year, announced last year that it would compete in EF Open this season with a two-car entry, but then opted out of doing so when it became clear new engine regulations would come into place for ’19,?team principal Anthony ?Boyo? Hieatt explained to Formula Scout.
“There was no point investing in a championship that only had one year to run on the engines,” Hieatt said.
“But now they’ve opened it up to different engines, and that’s a good, positive move for that championship.?We’ll be doing a test this week for the Balance of Performance of the Mercedes-Benz engine.”
Double R will be using a “very experienced driver” for the test, at which Carlin will also be present testing the Spiess-tuned Volkswagen engine alongside a yet-to-be-named team running EF Open’s current Piedrafita-tuned Toyota engine.
Between 2012 and ’15 Double R competed in the European F3 championship with Mercedes-Benz engines, although failed to make an impression. The team also competed in the previous era of British F3, which like European F3 and EF Open primarily used Dallara chassis, and won the 2007 title with Mike Conway.
F3 uncertainty delaying plans
“We’ll possibly do EF Open next year. But it’s difficult for managers and drivers at this point because the FIA has clouded the waters badly at the moment with regional F3. The name of F3 has been looked after by a group of teams and people who are passionate about F3 like Dallara. It just seems like the FIA has sold out the F3 name to GP3 and Formula Renault, which have been non-supporters of it.”
Kiern Jewiss’s British F4 title and the assertive championship lead for Linus Lundqvist in BRDC British F3 has made Double R a popular destination for drivers looking for a seat, especially with both championships retaining their current technical regulations for ’19. With no International and Regional F3 chassis available in Europe to test, drivers have also been looking to British F3 testing for preparation.
“The uncertainty of F3 has delayed 2019 plans.?Not just for me but for many many people I’d imagine. It’s the end of September and there’s no news on regional F3, there’s no news on lots of other things. Double R Racing will carry on pretty much the same, but for a lot of drivers in this paddock today they don’t know where they’re racing or what they want to do.
“This is the time people want to go testing, and just in the British F4 paddock today [at Brands Hatch], there’s lots of drivers talking to me about testing. What cars should they test, what series should they do. I’ve got a crystal ball but I’m no clearer than anybody in the paddock on what’s going to be happening.”