Cooper Tires British Formula Three Series Starts Easter Weekend
Cooper is looking forward to another season as title-sponsor and tyre-supplier to the British Formula Three Series. The company says that British F3 is one of the world’s most successful championships for aspiring Formula One drivers; with stars including Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton all racing in the series on their way to F1, it isn’t difficult to back up that claim. Most recently the last two champions have leapt straight to F1 – 2008 title winner Jaime Alguersuari now races with the Toro Rosso team while last year’s champion, Daniel Ricciardo, has been appointed official reserve driver for both Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso in 2010.
“Last year was a great season but this year is looking to be even more exciting,” said Julian Baldwin, managing director of Cooper Tire Europe. “Alguersuari and Ricciardo have both proved that British F3 is still the perfect springboard to F1 and we are extremely proud to support the series.” The championship takes place at nine circuits over 10 weekends throughout the year, finishing at Brands Hatch on 26 September. Cooper says its title sponsorship deal has helped to promote the brand across Europe, as the British series includes rounds at circuits including the legendary Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and Hockenheim in Germany.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Cooper Tire is now the exclusive tyre supplier and title sponsor for the newly-revived Cooper Tires-presented USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda. Like F3 in Britain, USF2000 is used as a training ground for drivers hoping to progress up the motorsport ladder into IndyCar racing. Cooper’s racing in the US also includes sports car action, with the company now being title sponsor to the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship (formerly known as IMSA Lites), which acts as a junior championship for the American Le Mans Series. The 2010 series will begin on 27-28 March on the street circuit of St. Petersburg, Florida, in support of the second round of the IZOD IndyCar Series.
Although both championships start in spring, Cooper has already enjoyed motorsport success in 2010 with The Toyota Cooper Tire team having claimed second place in the T2 production car class of the Dakar Rally in January. Dakar veteran Xavier Foj and co-driver Pablo Jaton overcame many hurdles on their way to the podium position. The pair completed more than 9,000km of the most arduous terrain with Cooper’s rugged Discoverer STT tyres.