The Euroformula Open will have a slightly new look in 2020, with championship promoter GT Sport and Dallara unveiling the Dallara 320 for the next iteration of the pan-European series. The new car retains the current powertrains but adds the halo cockpit protection device. In an effort to keep costs down for teams, the currently-used Dallara 317 can be upgraded to the 320 model with the purchase of new bodywork parts and safety structures.GT Sport revealed the new concept to teams and media in a presentation at Spa-Francorchamps on Friday evening local time, emphasizing that the new design would preserve the spirit of the series. The Euroformula Open has seen its field grow significantly over past seasons, with its flexibility in terms of engine manufacturer and the failure of the Formula European Masters earlier this year.
The Dallara 320 features a new strengthened monocoque with the attached halo cockpit protection device, a carbon extractable seat and 25mm of safety foam, an upgraded FIA FT5 fuel cell, and redesigned bodywork to more closely resemble modern F1 cars.
Michelin will remain tyre supplier for the series, as Euroformula Open aims to be “a distinct and leading series among mid-sized single-seater formulae.”Jesus Pareja, CEO of GT Sport, said that the series was required to upgrade its car to keep up with FIA safety standards:
“Last year we took the decision to open our rules to accept Spiess, HWA, together with Piedrafita engines. This was a real challenge for us, but we took that risk. We are only championship in Europe in this category with three different engines. Now is the time for a new car, as the new safety rules specify to keep our status as an international FIA series. We started working with Dallara over 20 years ago, and I’m very proud to say this time it is again Dallara that is the best company for making a car for this type of series”
Curiously, Dallara have built the 320 to Formula 1 standards rather than Formula 3 standards, as they found the latter too restrictive. Jos Claes, Dallara Engineer & Project Manager, said:
“Regarding the new car for 2020, it starts with the FIA imposing all series on this level a mandatory halo. It was not possible to put a halo on the existing monocoque as it is today. We came up with the idea to make an upgrade of the existing car. We quickly found restrictions in the current F3 regulations, so we chose to move to F1 safety standard, and that set of rules gives more freedom in interesting areas. Especially as we wanted to make the car a light car.”
Euroformula Open is racing at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend, with Kiwi Liam Lawson in the title hunt amongst his Team Motopark teammates. The series has also proved popular with Australians trying to break-into the European open-wheel circuit, with both Jack Doohan and Calan Williams both also competing in the series this year.