Testing has got underway and according to plan for the new GP3/13 car which will be revealed to the world’s media at the GP3 Season 2012 Finale in Monza. The second generation car will have a naturally-aspirated 400hp engine compared to the current 280hp and is expected to be around three seconds faster than the current car. The design of the new car has also been modified with a new nose, sidepods and engine cover.
The GP3/13 had a successful shakedown in Varano, Italy on Thursday 5th July with Ben Hanley behind the wheel, followed by a two-day test session in Magny-Cours last week.
Didier Perrin – GP3 Series Technical Director said, “The purpose of the test in Magny Cours was to develop the strategy for making the engine and gearbox work together. In this early stage of development, engine and gearbox management is key, with the next test focusing on the performance of the car. The next step is to work on the aerodynamic settings. We need to check that the data from the Dallara wind tunnel corresponds with live on track data. The upcoming tests will be dedicated to the performance of the GP3/13 over a lap and that’s when we will discover the potential speed within the car. We are very pleased with what we have achieved so far.”
Ben Hanley - Test driver added, “Obviously a lot of parameters have changed with the new engine. We have been working on various elements such as engine cooling and making everything work as it should. We want everything at the optimum and to be running smoothly.
“So far we have only done short runs so the purpose of our next test is to gain more mileage and to focus on the performance of the car, whilst still fine tuning everything. We have had no problems at all, everything has gone to plan. We are very happy with how the first test has gone.
“There is quite a big power increase with the engine upgrading to a V6. The sound of the car is a massive improvement; I really noticed it whilst driving the car as it’s such a big difference so I think the fans will really appreciate that. The car is much more demanding to drive, you have to drive on the edge and I think it’s a lot more fun to race with the GP3/13. Visually the car is much nicer to look at too!
“I think it will really close the gap between GP2 and GP3, this new car will definitely raise the level of the Series as it will be a more manageable step to progress up to GP2 and then onto Formula 1. I am really looking forward to getting back out into the car for the next test!”