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Zandvoort F3 Masters will not run in 2017, return planned for 2018

F3 Masters 2016

The Masters of Formula 3 race at Zandvoort will not be run in 2017, but organisers plan its return next season.

The race, which was the jewel in the crown of European F3 competition for much of its existence since 1991, has fallen victim to date changes at the Dutch venue.

In 2015 and '16, the Masters of F3 occupied a slot on the ADAC GT Masters card at Zandvoort, but that event has been moved forward to July this year.

Meanwhile, the DTM and F3 European Championship meeting has moved back to August, meaning that the Masters would this year have to run before the championship event, in contravention of the FIA's Euro F3 testing regulations.

Masters of F3 coordinator Barry Bland told Autosport: "It's not happening this year - but it's a break [of one year] because of being unable to comply with the FIA date regulations.

"We'd have had to run afterwards, and because their [European championship] F3 race is so late in the calendar there was no date availability.

"The teams we checked out wanted the event to be in their calendar, but the FIA regulations prohibited it and we couldn't get a waiver [from the FIA] to run it beforehand.

"We're hoping and expecting it to be one year off, and comply with the FIA regulations [in the future]."

Due to noise restrictions at Zandvoort, the race moved away to Belgian track Zolder in 2007 and '08, but Bland explained that a similar move this year would be impossible because "Zandvoort would prefer to keep the race within their circuit".

Any such move would be further complicated by the fact that Masters control-tyre supplier Kumho's deal is with the Zandvoort circuit itself.

With the European championship currently featuring only 19 cars, and the recent aversion of Prema Powerteam to contesting the event, Bland added that the Masters could have featured a second class for cars from the Euroformula Open series, which uses the current-generation Dallara F3 chassis and spec Toyota engines, and does not visit Zandvoort.

"We put an allowance for the possibility of another class in the sporting regulations," he said.

"That will most likely be written into the regulations [for 2018] to give us the flexibility if we needed it."

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