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Formula 3, for any racing fans who don't watch the feeder-formulas like football fans watch college pigskin, is one of the most important lower formulas in international motorsports. While NASCAR may have its own hierarchy, the vast majority of racing's most successful drivers have at some point passed through F3, making the aray of regional and national series operating around the world an important stepping-stone for aspiring F1 drivers.
Although technically Formula 3 does not mandate a uniform chassis (like Champ Cars, IndyCars, GP2, and A1GP do), Dallara's permeation of the series might as well be a complete monopoly. Dallara also the builds chassis for IndyCars, the World Series by Renault (which feeds into F3) and GP2 (the next step up from F3). It built the immensely successful R8 endurance racer for Audi and the first batch of the KTM X-bow, as well as consulting on the development of the Pagani Zonda and Ferrari 333 SP.
Dallara's new Formula 3 chassis, despite FIA-mandated restrictions, benefits from significantly improved aerodynamics as a result of many hours spent in wind-tunnels and in CFD simulators. The Dallara F308 is also more compact than its predecessor while conforming to new side-impact regulations. In addition to the usual suspension set-up, a new pushrod unit is available designed to minimize understeer, and the car comes equipped with Brembo's latest brake package.
With Formula Three grids growing around the world, and the F308 now conforming to Spanish and Italian regulations, Dallara expects to sell 70 cars for the 2008 season. Check out the press release after the jump for more details, and the gallery below for more high-resolution images.
Dallara Launch the F308 Formula 3 Car
The Pursuit of Excellence
For 2008 we present to you a completely new Formula 3 car, the DALLARA F308. This entirely new car forms the basis for the new generation of our formula 3 car which will take us from 2008 to 2010.
Interest in the car has been intense with orders expected to reach around 70 cars for the 2008 season. This is a consequence of growing grids in the Euro Series and the British and Japanese Championships plus the fact that the Italian and Spanish Championships will allow new cars in their series next year. In the past week deliveries of cars has already started so as to allow teams to commence off season testing.
We have strived to build a car that will up hold the values of the Dallara brand, in that it will be highly competitive on track, incorporate the latest safety features and have the highest levels of build quality. The car is the result of significant effort and investment in research and development as we know this is the only way to maintain our position at the forefront of this highly competitive and challenging formula.
We have concentrated our efforts in the areas that offer the most potential for increased lap time, namely the aerodynamics, but also there have been some important evolutions in the mechanical components of the car
The list of major changes:
· Completely new bodywork with important evolutions regarding the general shape and improvements of even the smallest add-on parts. Supported by an in depth CFD development programme and an ever increasing number of wind tunnel hours the car has achieved a record level of efficiency despite the addition of the FIA mandated underfloor skid block.
· The new monocoque is reduced in size to the minimum inner dimensions. Further the new monocoque also features improved side-impact protection according revised 2008 regulations.
· There is a choice between a traditional front suspension and a new suspension with the push-rod mounted directly to the upright. In the search of reducing any level of understeer this new suspension offers yet another option to improve the car?s balance. The extra geometries of this suspension create the best opportunity to fully exploit any type of Formula 3 tyre.
· The front suspension comes as standard in a twin damper configuration and offers the possibility to add a third damper or other element.
· The car comes standard with the new Brembo mono-block calipers incorporating Brembo?s latest technology. These entirely new extra stiff callipers improve brake capacity and modularity while residual friction clearly decreased.