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GP3 set to explore new ground in 2013

by Valentin Khorounzhiy

Hours after the GP2 provisional calendar was unveiled, its feeder series followed suite, announcing event dates as well as test dates for 2013.

The championship will, just like this year, consist of eight rounds (two races each) and will kick off at Catalunya in May. However, instead of finishing in September, like they did in 2012, the series will wrap up alongside its’ parent series at Yas Marina.

The provisional calendar is:

May 10-12 ?? Catalunya (Spain)

June 14-16 – TBA

June 28-30 ?? Silverstone (Great Britain)

July 5-7 ?? Nurburgring (Germany)

July 26-28 ?? Hungaroring (Hungary)

August 23-25 ?? Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium)

September 6-8 ?? Monza (Italy)

November 1-3 ?? Yas Marina (United Arab Emirates)

Alongside the news of wrapping up in November, the series will venture forth into unknown grounds with its first scheduled standalone event, planned to take place mid-June at a track yet to be announced. The changes in the calendar will see the Monaco and Valencia events from 2012 dropped for next year.

GP3 Series CEO Bruno Michel commented on the changes in the official release: “Since the Series? inception, the calendar has always consisted of eight race weekends and it will be the case again in 2013. Seven of them will be held during a Formula One Grand Prix which is a fantastic opportunity for all our young drivers. The fact that the season will end in Abu Dhabi marks GP3 history with the first race weekend that will take place outside of Europe. It will be a thrilling challenge to the drivers as well as providing a spectacular conclusion for the fans at the Yas Marina Circuit. With the introduction of the new GP3/13 car: together with a brand new venue, this moves the?Series in yet another positive direction.?”

The calendar for testing events will feature three pre-season tests and one event after the first race of the year:

February 20-22 ?? Estoril (Portugal)

March 12-13 ?? Catalunya (Spain)

April 3-4 ?? Silverstone (Great Britain)

June 5-6 ?? Hungaroring (Hungary)