Formula V8 3.5 will become a support series for the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2017, featuring on the undercard of at least six of the sportscar series’ nine events next year.
Formula V8 3.5 took over from the hugely successful Formula Renault 3.5 at the end of last year, acting as a high-level single-seater junior championship for those looking to reach Formula 1.
The series has struggled with grid numbers so far this year, with just 13 cars entering the last race at Silverstone.
However, Formula V8 3.5 has now been handed a boost following the WEC’s announcement on Thursday that the two series would join forces for 2017.
“Jaime Alguersuari, President of RPM Racing and Gérard Neveu, CEO of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) have reached an extremely encouraging agreement that will link the Formula V8 3.5 series to the majority of the 2017 WEC events,” a statement reads.
“The agreement includes a minimum of three overseas rounds in Mexico, Japan and Bahrain, the last being the final event of the endurance championship, in addition to three of the four European events on the WEC calendar: Silverstone, Spa and Nürburgring.
“Both organizations have as their main aim the desire to provide young single-seater drivers with the opportunity to enter a professional motorsport environment offering a clear and well-defined professional career path including LMP1, LMP2 and GTE in addition to any other series in the pinnacle of motorsport.
“This benefits not only the drivers but also their families or backers. The WEC and RPM wish to offer the young drivers an outstanding international calendar with affordable costs.
“Included in this historic new motorsport project is an amazing prize: the chance to be part of the WEC’s Rookie Test in Bahrain in the main categories of LMP1 or LMP2 or GTE for the drivers placed first, second and third in the Formula V8 3.5 championship.”
“It is very good news that the V8 3.5 series will join the FIA WEC race meetings from 2017,” Neveu said.
“Great news for the fans, but also for the young drivers who are the champions of the future, and the future is tomorrow.
“This single-seater championship has demonstrated for many years how very appealing and exciting it can be, while at the same time providing many great champions.
“It makes sense to offer to the new generation of drivers access to a well-established championship such as the FIA WEC. The fact that the champions will have an opportunity to take part in the WEC’s official rookie test at the end of the season will be additional motivation and a target for everyone on the grid.
“We know also that RPM, promoter of this single-seater championship, shares the same values as the ACO, the promoter of the FIA WEC. It was logical to join together.
“This combination of V8 3.5 and Sports Prototype and GT cars, in the same place at the same time, will provide for the pleasure of the fans a fantastic motorsport show with great racing over the same weekend, a real festival of motorsport.
“The FIA WEC Paddock is really delighted to welcome V8 3.5, and we look forward to moving ahead together with this project where the main target is to have happy drivers, competitors, manufacturers, partners, media and fans.”