The renamed Formula European Masters series is to award a free DTM race outing to one of the top three finishers in the championship.
The DTM-supporting series, which is the continuation of the old FIA F3 European Championship, has come up with the prize after teams suggested it in place of a cash award.
One team told Motorsport.com that a prize fund of approximately €100,000 was mooted, but that this would not make much difference to a budget to move up to the next level - hence the idea to grant the free DTM appearance.
DTM chief Gerhard Berger is understood to have been instrumental in the new prize.
Each of the top three in the championship will be given a place in the DTM manufacturers' traditional end-of-season 'Young Driver Test' days, with one selected for a race outing.
The champion will also receive a prize one-day test in a Super Formula car in Japan.
Walter Mertes, CEO of FEM promoter Formel 3 Vermarktungs, said: "DTM and Super Formula are both proven means to graduate to Formula 1, and the Formula European Masters opens the doors to both series. That's really great for our young drivers.
"With good performances in the end-of-season tests, they can attract the attention of DTM manufacturers and teams for the following season, and the one who proves to be the best overall will be rewarded with a DTM guest appearance."
From the past 10 seasons, six champions of F3V-promoted European F3 competition – Edoardo Mortara, Roberto Merhi, Daniel Juncadella, Raffaele Marciello, Esteban Ocon and Felix Rosenqvist – have gone on to compete in the DTM.
The series also claims to have 20 entries registered so far from nine teams, including one squad from Italy new to this level of competition.
PAVE Motorsport has competed successfully in the Italian F2000 series, which includes the same generation of F3 chassis and engines as FEM.
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