The British Formula 3 Championship looks set to disappear from the motor racing radar thus ending a proving ground renowned for producing countless Formula 1 stars.
The once thriving hot bed of young talent is unlikely to continue next season following a failed bid to merge with the German F3 Cup to form a new look an eight round championship, according to Autosport.
Since its inception in 1951, the championship has helped a vast array of drivers on their way to F1, producing world champions in the form of Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi, Ayrton Senna and Mika Hakkinen.
However, after dwindling grid numbers in recent seasons, affected by the growth of the FIA European F3 Championship, British F3 has struggled to compete in a competitive single seater market.
This year just four cars competed in all seven rounds of the championship, which was eventually won by Chinese driver Martin Cao.
It appears parity disagreements between British F3, who run 2012 machinery, and the German F3 Cup, which caters for cars from 2008-2011, has left the series with no option but to cease.
“SRO [British F3’s promoter] and the teams have done everything they possibly can to try and make both national series continue successfully in the future, but opposition from the German end has made this impossible,” Peter Briggs, head of the series teams’ group FOTA told Autosport.
“The FIA started to assist us by helping with licence regulations [this proved troublesome in 2014, with British F3 running with National licences but having difficulty attracting foreign National licence holders], but it’s not going to work if the German teams aren’t going to play ball. It’s very sad.”
Australia has been well represented in the category with David Brabham lifting the title in 1989, while Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo repeated the feat 20 years later.
British F3 proved to be a valuable stepping stone for a number of Australians hoping to forge careers abroad with Mark Webber, Will Power, James Courtney, Will Davison and Russell Ingall among those to enjoy spells in the championship.