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 NEWS ARCHIVES: March 2000

This section contains archived news on International F3000, Italian F3000 and Formula Nippon.


March 30th 2000 - International F3000:

Eurobet Arrows F3000 Team launched at Leafield The new European Arrows team was officially launched at the Arrows F1 team's Leafield base today. Eurobet, Coral International's online betting service, was announced as the team's title sponsor. Other team sponsors include, and Arrows F1 sponsors chello, Repsol and Lost Boys. The two F3000 Lola T99/50s driven by Mark Webber and Christijan Albers will race in the same orange and black livery as the F1 cars. (Source & photo: )


March 30th 2000 - Italian F3000:

Astromega joins forces with Orbit; Rossi & Bert signed International F3000 squad Astromega has joined forces with former BTCC team Orbit Motorsport to enter the Italian F3000 championship. The team have signed world karting champion Danilo Rossi and Germany's Sascha Bert. The team may run from Astromega's Belgian base while Astromega will help with circuit set-ups. If the two drivers perform well, there is a chance they will race in the International series for Astromega in 2001. (Source:Autosport)


March 30th 2000 - Italian F3000:

Da Vinci signs Derek Hill The Da Vinci team (the renamed 1999 champion squad Team Martello) has signed Derek Hill to join Giandomenico Brusatin in Italian F3000. Derek Hill, son of the 1961 world champion Phil Hill, raced in Formula Palmer Audi last year. (Source:Autosport)


March 30th 2000 - Italian F3000:

Steffek joins Malta Racing Team Austrian Claudia Steffek has signed to race for the newly-entered Malta Racing Team in Italian F3000. Her ambition is to race in F1 in 2002. Meanwhile Jonathan Cochet, previously expected to race for Draco, has returned to French F3 with Signature Competition. The Frenchman finished as runner-up in the series with the team last year. (Source:Autosport)


March 30th 2000 - Italian F3000:

JVA to run Arden team on trial basis John Village Automotive will run Warren Hughes and Viktor Maslov on a trial basis in the Italian F3000 series. JVA, which ran the successful Edenbridge operation last year, will be given two races to prove itself to Arden. (Source:Autosport)


March 30th 2000 -Formula Nippon:

Schwager moves to Japanese GTs Formula Nippon refugee Dominik Schwager has joined the Nakajima Planning team to race a Honda NSX in the All-Japan GT championship. The German raced for the ORECA team in F3000 in 1998 as part of the short-lived BMW junior operation. (Source:Autosport)


March 27th 2000 -Formula Nippon:

Takagi wins at Suzuka Tora Takagi took victory on his Formula Nippon return in round 1 at Suzuka for PIAA Nakajima, a race interrupted by rain and accidents. Michael Krumm (5Zigen) and Naoki Hattori (5Zigen) finished second and third. The remaining points finishes went to Katsutomo Kaneishi (ARTA), Shigekatzu Wakisaka (Mooncraft) and Satoshi Motoyama (Impul). Polesitter Ralph Firman failed to finish after crashing at the 130R corner on lap 5, bringing out the safety car. Another crash on lap 10 brought it out again before the race was red-flagged on lap 12. The race later resumed and became a two part affair. Former F3000 driver Alex Yoong did not start after a crash at 130R in Saturday qualifying. See the qualifying and race positions here. Go to the Formula Nippon Official Site for the race report and full results. (Source:


March 26th 2000 -Int'l F3000:

Silverstone testing update; Mauricio fastest Ricardo Mauricio finished last week's 2-day F3000 testing session fastest on 1m:36.853s ahead of fellow Brazilians Bruno Junqueira (who was fastest on the first day) and Enrique Bernoldi. The European Formula/Arrows junior team had a good test, Mark Webber finishing fourth and Christijan Albers sixth overall. Nicolas Minassian (Super Nova) was fifth overall. The McLaren junior drivers Tomas Enge and Stephane Sarrazin finished in 13th and 16th respectively. See the times here.


March 25th 2000 -Formula Nippon:

Firman on pole for Formula Nippon opener Britain's Ralph Firman will start from pole position in tomorrow's opening Formula Nippon round at Suzuka. The Nova Engineering G-Force/Mugen driver set a fastest time of 1:44.579 in the second session. Katsutomo Kaneishi (ARTA), Michael Krumm (5Zigen) are second and third in their Reynard 99Ls, while ex-F1 driver Toranosuke Takagi (PIAA Nakajima) will start fourth in the quickest Reynard 2KL. Former F3000 drivers Alex Yoong and Jaroslaw Wierczuk will start 14th and 19th respectively. (Source:


March 25th 2000 - Italian F3000:

Lupberger turns to sportscar racing South African driver Werner Lupberger, last year's Italian F3000 runner-up, has signed to race a Pilbeam for Redman Bright in the Lights class of this year's Sports Racing World Cup. Lupberger raced in International F3000 in 1997 and 1998 for Edenbridge, before switching with the team to the inaugural Italian series. Meanwhile new Gauloises Formula/Prost junior F3000 signing Sebastien Bourdais is set to race a Courage for Henri Pescarolo at Le Mans. (Source:Autosport)


March 23rd 2000 - Italian F3000:

Hughes takes Arden drive Formula 3 veteran Warren Hughes has beaten the current British F3 champion Marc Hynes to the second Arden seat in this year's Italian F3000 championship. Hughes outpaced Hynes in the recent Mugello and Vallelunga tests, although Hynes complained that the seating position did not suit him. Viktor Maslov will partner Hughes, the Russian also competing for the team in International F3000. (Source:Autosport)


March 22nd 2000 - Int'l F3000:

Junqueira fastest in Silverstone testing Championship hopeful Bruno Junqueira continued where he left off at Imola by setting the fastest time in testing at Silverstone (Wednesday) with 1m:36.924s. Once again Enrique Bernoldi was second fastest (1:37.076) for Red Bull Junior, with Super Nova pairing Nicolas Minassian and David Saelens third and fifth respectively, sandwiching Fortec's Mario Haberfeld. Bernoldi's teammate Ricardo Mauricio finished sixth. The Silverstone test is the final session before the opening F3000 round at Imola on April 8th. See the times here. (Source: BBC Ceefax)


March 21st 2000 - Formula Nippon:

Takagi fastest in Motegi testing Formula Nippon returnee Toranosuke Takagi was fastest in the 2nd Joint Testing at Motegi with a time of 1:34.491 for PIAA Nakajima. The former Tyrrell and Arrows F1 driver set the pace ahead of Yuji Tachikawa (Cerumo), Michael Krumm (5Zigen) and Satoshi Motoyama (Impul). Ralph Firman set the fifth fastest time in his Nova Engineering G-Force. F3000 graduate Alex Yoong was 17th for Team Malaysia, while F3000 Italia graduate Jaroslaw Wierczuk was 18th. The testing took place on the 17th and 18th of March. (


March 19th 2000 - Int'l F3000:

Junqueira tops Imola test times Brazil's Bruno Junqueira finished fastest overall in the two-day official test session at Imola which ended yesterday. Sauber test driver Enrique Bernoldi was fastest on the first day, ahead of Justin Wilson and Jaime Melo jr., Junqueira's rookie teammate at Petrobras Junior. On the second day Junqueira set the fastest time of 1:37.824 to end the test quickest overall ahead of Bernoldi (Red Bull Junior) and Franck Montagny (DAMS). (Source: BBC Ceefax)


March 17th 2000 - Int'l F3000:

Fontana confirmed at Della Penna Former F3000 and Formula Nippon driver Norberto Fontana will join up with native Argentine John Della Penna in CART this season. Fontana will compete in all 20 rounds of the series, making his debut at Homestead on March 26th. He brings a new sponsor to the team in VideoMatch, a high profile Argentinian TV programme. Team veteran Richie Hearn will remain with the Della Penna Motorsports team, hoping to secure sponsorship to expand the outfit to a two-car team. Fontana competed in International F3000 last year for Fortec Motorsports. (Source: )


March 17th 2000 - Italian F3000:

Hughes tops Vallelunga test times Arden hopeful Warren Hughes topped the times in official testing for the Italian F3000 series at Vallelunga on March 13th/14th. Leonardo Nienkotter was second fastest for Draco. Twenty-five different drivers tested, promising stronger fields for the series' second year. Derek Hill, son of 1961 F1 champion Phil, tested for the Da Vinci team. View the times here. (Source:


March 16th 2000 - Italian F3000:

Sperafico twins to race in F3000 Italia Former British Formula Ford runner-up Ricardo Sperafico will race for F3000 Italia team ADM Competizione this year. He joins his twin brother Rodrigo, who has signed for Draco. Both drivers are graduating from the SudAm F3 championship. (Source: Autosport)


March 16th 2000 - Italian F3000:

Biagi stays with GP Racing; team tests van der Linde F3000 veteran Thomas Biagi is to contest the Italian F3000 championship with GP Racing. He impressed in his three outings in the series for the team last year, taking two seconds and a third. Biagi was joined at GP Racing at the Mugello tests last week by former FOEUS champion Etienne van der Linde. The South African is not expected to race for the team, however, having been linked to a drive in the South African V8 touring car series. (Source: Autosport)


March 16th 2000 - Italian F3000:

Shaw retires from motorsport Former International F3000 driver Mark Shaw has decided to retire from motorsport, leaving Edenbridge Racing's plans for this season in doubt. The Scot signed to race for the team last month, but made his announcement after a poor performance in last week's Mugello test. (Source: Autosport)


March 16th 2000 - Italian F3000:

Monaco sets up second team Monaco Motorsport has set up a second team, enabling the former International series outfit to expand their F3000 Italia effort to four cars. Formula Nissan runner-up Manuel Giao has signed for the team. The racing veteran is joined by Italian F3 runner-up Gianluca Calcagni who topped times in the Mugello test. Monaco Motorsport also tested British veteran Richard Westbrook at Mugello. (Source: Autosport)


March 16th 2000 - Italian F3000:

Hynes and Hughes closely matched for Arden seat The two Brits in contention for an Arden F3000 Italia seat have been closely matched in their testing efforts. Marc Hynes and Warren Hughes tested for Arden for two days at Mugello last week and for two days at Vallelunga this week. Hughes emerged fastest at Mugello and the second day at Vallelunga, although Hynes had less favourable track conditions and was uncomfortable in the car due to his height. The team, led by former Arden racer Christian Horner, will make their choice after analysing the data from the tests. (Source: Autosport)


March 15th 2000 - Italian F3000:

Calcagni fastest in first F3000 Italia test 1999 Italian F3 runner-up Gianluca Calcagni was fastest of the drivers participating in the first official F3000 Italia test at Mugello on March 9th/10th. The Monaco Motorsport driver set a time of 1m40.147s to finish ahead of Leonardo Nienkotter (Draco) and fellow Italian F3 graduate Michele Spoldi (Sighinolfi). The Durango Benetton Junior pairing of Andrej Pavicevic and Giovanni Montanari finished in 6th and 14th places respectively. British F3 champion Marc Hynes tested for Redgrave Racing while Arden's Viktor Maslov, driving for the team in the International series, tested the team's Lola T96/50. View the times here. (Source: )


March 15th 2000 - Formula Nippon:

TEAM MALAYSIA launched in Japan Malaysia's Alex Yoong was confirmed as driving for the new TEAM MALAYSIA by Le Mans outfit in Formula Nippon at the team's launch last week. Yoong impressed in his season of F3000 Italia and part-season of International F3000 last season. The one-car team will be run by Le Mans Company, the team that won the 1996 title with Ralf Schumacher. Driving in their main team is ex-F1 driver Hideki Noda and former British F3 driver Yudai Igarashi. (Source: )


March 11th 2000 - Int'l F3000:

Fontana could replace Hearn Former F3000 driver Norberto Fontana may race for Della Penna Motorsports in Champ Cars after all. The Argentine will replace team veteran Richie Hearn unless the 29-year old American can find sponsorship in the next few days. Hearn has driven for John Della Penna since 1994, clinching the Formula Atlantic title in 1995 and winning the Indy Racing League race at Las Vegas in 1996. Team and driver switched to CART full-time in 1997. (Source: Autosport Online)


March 9th 2000 - Italian F3000:

Hynes and Hughes set for Arden shoot-out British F3 champion Marc Hynes and F3 veteran Warren Hughes are to have a Button/Junqueira style shootout for a seat in Italian F3000 this year with Arden. (Source: Autosport)


March 9th 2000 - Italian F3000:

Calcagni signs for Monaco Italian Formula 3 runner-up Gianluca Calcagni has signed to race for Monaco Motorsport in the Italian F3000 series this year. (Source: Autosport)


March 9th 2000 - Int'l F3000:

Ayari to race joint F3000 / Indy Lights season Two-time F3000 race winner Soheil Ayari is to compete in both International F3000 and Indy Lights this season. The Frenchman has signed for top Lights team Brian Stewart Racing, while he will race for the Coloni/Martello team in F3000. Date clashes mean Ayari will only be able to compete in nine Indy Lights races. (Source: Autosport)


March 9th 2000 - Int'l F3000:

Fontana CART drive looks unlikely Norberto Fontana's chances of driving a second car alongside Richie Hearn for the Della Penna Motorsports team look slim, despite the Argentine impressing in testing their Champ Car recently. The former F3000 and Formula Nippon driver passed his rookie tests with the team however. Team boss John Della Penna had previously declared his intention to at some stage expand his team to a two-car operation. (Source: Autosport)


March 6th 2000 - Int'l F3000:

Coloni test at Magione The Italian Coloni team continued development of their F3000 Lolas at Magione. Soheil Ayari beat the lap record with 1m.04.1s while newly signed Fabrizio Gollin was close with 1m.04.9s. (Source: Autosport Online)


March 4th 2000 - Italian F3000:

Benetton Junior Team signs Pavicevic and Montanari The Durango Benetton Junior Team has signed Australia's Andrej Pavicevic and Italy's Giovanni Montanari for the F3000 Italia series. Both step down from International F3000 where they have struggled. Pavicevic rarely qualified for Fortec last year, unsurprising considering it was only his second ever season of single-seaters. Montanari has struggled since his debut in 1998. (Source: Autosport Online)


March 4th 2000 - Int'l F3000:

Gollin signs for Coloni to complete F3000 entry list F3000 veteran Fabrizio Gollin has signed to partner Soheil Ayari at Coloni. The Italian has taken the last remaining seat for the 2000 season. Coloni are only able to compete this year after having joined forces with Team Martello, who earned their entry by winning the 1999 F3000 Italia championship with Giorgio Vinella. Italian Vinella had hoped to make his International F3000 return with Martello. (Source: Autosport Online)


March 4th 2000 - Int'l F3000:

Fontana fastest at Homestead tests Former F3000 driver Norberto Fontana set the fastest time of Champ Car testing at Homestead yesterday with 108.0s around the road course. The Argentinian had completed a two-day evaluation for Della Penna Motorsports. (Source: Autosport Online)


March 2nd 2000 - Int'l F3000:

Kolby and Wilson set for Le Mans drives Kristian Kolby has landed a drive with DAMS, the team he will make his F3000 debut for this year, to race a Cadillac at Le Mans. He will partner former F3000 drivers Marc Goossens and Christophe Tinseau. DAMS teammate Franck Montagny will also race a DAMS-Cadillac. Meanwhile Brazilian Max Wilson, who failed to land an F1 drive with Minardi, may sign to race for Ascari at the Le Mans 24 Hrs. He tested the Ascari A410-Judd last week and will now decide whether to race it or pursue options in America. (Source: Autosport)


March 2nd 2000 - Int'l F3000:

Coloni to test at Magione with Ayari and Gollin Coloni Motorsport, the only F3000 team absent from the official Valencia tests, will run at Magione this week with signed driver Soheil Ayari and F3000 veteran Fabrizio Gollin. (Source: Autosport)


March 2nd 2000 - Int'l F3000:

Fontana tests for CART team Norberto Fontana, who lost out to Gaston Mazzacane in his hopes for a Minardi F1 seat, was due to test a Reynard-Toyota today and yesterday for Champ Car team Della Penna Motorsports. Team owner John Della Penna plans to expand the team to a two-car operation in the near future. Argentine Fontana competed in F3000 last season for new team Fortec after a spell in Formula Nippon and a few F1 races for Sauber in 1997. (Source:


March 2nd 2000 - Italian F3000:

Durango become Benetton junior team F3000 Italia team Durango has linked up with Benetton to form the Durango Benetton Junior Team F3000 Italia. Benetton will also again support Justin Wilson of Astromega in the International F3000 series, along with Benetton test driver Hidetoshi Mitsusada who drives for WRT. This year Durango has not qualified for the International series as they failed to score any points last year. (Source: Mike's Speedsport Magazine)


March 1st 2000 - Int'l F3000:

McLaren junior team renamed McLaren's junior F3000 team, formerly known as West Competition, has been renamed " Competition" in deference to its new sponsors. (Source: BBC Ceefax)


 Information sourced from various websites, teletext and Autosport magazine, but text is changed from original reports. This news is updated as often as possible, but news stories may be missed.