The ORECA Formula 3 engine made its belated race debut last weekend in the Austrian F3 Cup round at Czech circuit Most.
Series regular and sometime GP3 racer Christopher Hoher took the powerplant to second place in the first race of the weekend in a Dallara run by German squad Ma-Con Motorsport but entered by the team of Austrian F3 prime mover Franz Woss.
The engine was launched with a Renault badge and was supposed to be run by the Signature team in 2014, but the squad pulled out on the eve of the season opener.
Ma-Con, which competed in the F3 European Championship in 2012 and ’13 with Volkswagen power, took over the ORECA project and began a test program late last summer, predominantly with Nick Cassidy driving. Ma-Con boss Otto Schwadtke tried to put a program together to race the engine in European F3 in 2015, but is now looking towards next season.
“It [the Most race outing] was only a little test for us,” said Schwadtke, who added that the team could also contest next month’s Brno season finale. “It’s a strong engine, and when we have tested at Lausitz alongside Mucke Motorsport and Van Amersfoort Racing we have seen it’s not so bad.
“It’s very good working with ORECA – I’m very happy with the situation and they are a great company.”
Schwadtke said he is looking for drivers who are strong enough to compete for the top 10 in European F3 as part of a two-car team.
“We want to test a lot of drivers and see if we can pick up a good one,” he said.
The two races at Most were dominated by Performance Racing’s Akash Nandy, using a Dallara powered by an old-spec Volkswagen engine. Both team and driver are also looking to compete in European F3 in 2016.