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UNOFFICIAL F3000 INFORMATION

 NEWS ARCHIVES: May 2000

News on International F3000, Italian F3000, F3000 Autumn Cup (UK) and Formula Nippon.

  

May 26th 2000 -International F3000:

Pizzonia linked to McLaren junior team British F3 championship leader has been linked to a possible drive with the McLaren F3000 team along with a McLaren F1 test contract. Team boss David Brown said of the Brazilian: "I should think every team is interested in him. He and Tomas Scheckter are the only two worth looking at in British F3". (Source: Autosport)

 

May 26th 2000 -International F3000:

Hynes may keep WRT seat British F3 champion Marc Hynes may keep his seat at WRT for the remainder of the year, despite his failure to qualify at the Nurburgring and his lack of a budget. He replaced Hidetoshi Mitsusada at the team but missed the cut due to an ill-fitting seat, zero testing miles and rain in the second qualifying session. (Source: Autosport)

 

May 26th 2000 -International F3000:

Minardi test drivers update It has been confirmed that both Spain's Fernando Alonso and Italy's Giorgio Vinella have been signed by Minardi to carry out test and development work. Vinella, the reigning Italian F3000 champion, is scheduled to test at Varano next month. (Source: Autosport)

 

May 22nd 2000 -International F3000:

Alonso signs for Minardi Astromega F3000 rookie Fernando Alonso has finally been signed by Minardi. It is believed the reigning Formula Nissan champion has been signed purely as a test driver alongside another new Minardi tester, Giorgio Vinella. However, the poor performances of Gaston Mazzacane have led to speculation that Spaniard Alonso may race for the team this year. The signing offers fresh hope of a Minardi takeover by Spanish communications giant Telefonica, a deal which has in recent weeks been all but ruled out. Telefonica is the title sponsor of Minardi and also sponsors Alonso in the F3000 championship. (Source: http://www.fortecmotorsport.com / www.autosportnews.comwww.autosport.com)

 

May 22nd 2000 -International F3000:

Scheld loses 2nd place on technicality It has been confirmed that Andreas Scheld was disqualified from his second place at the Nurburgring on Saturday. The Fortec driver had to pit for a new nose during the race at which point the team accidently left two small race tape covers stuck to the front wing endplates. The small error meant the car breached technical regulations. The tape is designed to mask the wing angle position during transportation. Scheld was excluded after the Coloni team protested the result, promoting their driver Fabrizio Gollin from third to second in the results. Scheld said later "As I turned to walk to the podium I saw what I thought was some debris tape on my car which I pulled off, little did I know that this tiny piece of tape could lead to such a cruel conclusion". Second place had been the Fortec Motorsport team's first podium position in F3000, and it was a tremendous achievement for German Scheld who had only qualified for one of the preceding three races. The revised top six finishers are: Bruno Junqueira, Fabrizio Gollin, Andre Couto, Sebastien Bourdais, Stephane Sarrazin and Jaime Melo Jr. Revised results can be found here. (Source: www.fortecmotorsport.com)

 

May 21st 2000 -International F3000:

Scheld disqualified from Nurburgring Andreas Scheld has apparently been disqualified from his second place at the Nurburgring, promoting Fabrizio Gollin into second and Andre Couto into third. Jaime Melo Jr now takes the point for 6th. More to follow. (Source: Mike Zenger / http://www.sport1.de/)

 

May 21st 2000 -Formula Nippon:

Matsuda takes first win Tsugio Matsuda won the third round at Mine for PIAA Nakajima, taking his first ever win, as team-mate and polesitter Tora Takagi retired. The result means the Nakajima team maintain a 100% winning record this season. Matsuda held off Michael Krumm (5Zigen) with Hideki Noda (Le Mans) taking third. ARTA team-mates Juichi Wakisaka and Katsutomo Kaneishi finished 4th and 5th ahead of Naoki Hattori (5Zigen). Ralph Firman (Team Morinaga NOVA) retired after four laps with suspension failure following a first lap collision. Qualifying and race positions are available here.

 

May 21st 2000 -Formula Nippon:

Takagi on pole again Former F1 driver Toranosuke Takagi took his second consecutive pole yesterday for round 3 of Formula Nippon at Mine. The PIAA Nakajima pilot has yet to be beaten this season. Hideki Noda (Le Mans) will start second with Juichi Wakisaka (ARTA) and Tsugio Matsuda (Nakajima) third and fourth. Ralph Firman (Morinaga NOVA) lines up seventh, with former F3000 driver Alex Yoong (Team Malaysia by Le Mans) 12th. Former Italian F3000 driver Jaroslaw Wierczuk (Cerumo) starts 14th.

 

May 20th 2000 - International F3000:

Junqueira wins chaotic Nurburgring race Round 4 at the Nurburgring was won by Petrobras Junior driver and championship leader Bruno Junqueira today, after rain caused a number of incidents and turned the race into a lottery. The race started dry, but by the first corner the field was much depleted. Polesitter David Saelens (Super Nova) made a poor start and was one of a number to go off in the S-bends. Amidst the chaos Fernando Alonso mounted the car of Ricardo Mauricio, the Spaniard's front wheel ending up above Mauricio's head. On the spot Saelens was forced to retire along with Soheil Ayari and Kevin McGarrity. Darren Manning skated across the gravel and Jamie Davies was left with damaged bodywork. The safety car emerged, but not for the first time. At the restart Enrique Bernoldi led from Junqueira and Tomas Enge, but further down the field Bas Leinders spun and Nicolas Minassian clipped the car attempting to go round the outside. Both retired. The safety car came out for the second time. Soon after the restart rain started to fall and Bernoldi spun out of the lead at Veedol with broken rear suspension, another bitter blow for the Brazilian who also lost the lead in Barcelona. Junqueira took over the lead, only for the rain to fall harder. Justin Wilson then spun out of a points finish, rolling back onto the track in the path of Franck Montagny who was distracted by his battle with Sebastien Bourdais. The impact sent wheels and bodywork flying and wrecked both cars, but the drivers emerged uninjured. The safety car then came out for a third time. Some drivers, including Junqueira, came in for wets while others gambled on remaining on slicks. Tomas Enge took the lead without making a stop. When the safety car pulled in, the field accelerated down the main straight without any visibility. From the spray came Andrea Piccini, spinning off and glancing the barriers. At the Castrol "S" Manning, Davies and Yves Olivier all collided, only Davies able to escape unassisted. Then at the start of the straight approaching Veedol, slick-shod Tomas Enge, having lost the lead, was slow to accelerate, the unsighted Fabrice Walfisch hitting the rear of the McLaren Junior car and being launched into the air. Fortunately the Frenchman bounced off the track without rolling. Enge's car spun at high speed minus its rear wing, the pursuing Junqueira forced to spin to avoid the Czech. Junqueira rejoined the track after the Veedol chicane and set about pursuing the surprise race leader, Fortec's Andreas Scheld, who had made an early stop for wets along with Fabrizio Gollin. On his way Junqueira was lucky not to hit a spinning Piccini who he was trying to lap. Junqueira passed Scheld, who remained in second ahead of Gollin for the remainder of the race, the leading trio making their wet tyres last on the drying track. Prost Junior pair Andre Couto and Bourdais took the team's first points of the season with 4th and 5th, ahead of Stephane Sarrazin. The McLaren Junior driver took his first point of the season after passing Jaime Melo when running on slicks. Melo lost his chance of a good finish with two stop-go penalties. It was a remarkable result, with Junqueira the only driver in the points to have scored earlier in the year. Scheld was visibly delighted with his result in front of the German crowd, taking the first ever podium finish in F3000 for Fortec team. Junqueira now has a 12 point lead in the standings ahead of Minassian and Webber. Those two will want to get their challenge back on track at Monaco in two week's time. Race results can be found here (report to follow).

 

May 19th 2000 - International F3000:

Saelens on pole at damp Nurburgring Super Nova's David Saelens took his first ever pole position for tomorrow's fourth round at the Nurburgring. Both qualifying sessions started wet and the grid was largely decided by the times set in the first. Championship leader Bruno Junqueira (Petrobras Junior) will start second ahead of Tomas Enge (McLaren) and Enrique Bernoldi (Red Bull Junior). Justin Wilson was an impressive fifth for Nordic despite an apparent rear suspension problem, ahead of Franck Montagny (DAMS). Stephane Sarrazin (McLaren) had another dire qualifying with 15th place, ahead of Silverstone winner Mark Webber (European Arrows). Jamie Davies (Fortec) qualified 18th standing in for the injured Mario Haberfeld, while Marc Hynes made his F3000 debut replacing Hidetoshi Mitsusada at WRT. The reigning British F3 champion failed to qualify along with team-mate Ananda Mikola. The other non-qualifiers were Hynes' former rival Kristian Kolby (DAMS) and Viktor Maslov (Arden Team Russia). Qualifying times can be found here.

 

May 18th 2000 - International F3000:

Mitsusada dropped by WRT giving Hynes new chance WRT have dropped Hidetoshi Mitsusada from their squad ahead of the Nurburgring round this weekend. Mitsusada was given a final chance to prove himself at the last race, but he failed to qualify for the third time in a row. Now British F3 champion Marc Hynes, linked to the seat before the Barcelona round, will race for the team if he can find the money. WRT has been trying to discover whether it will be forced to enter two cars at the Nurburgring if Hynes does not come up with the budget. (Source: Autosport)

 

May 18th 2000 - Italian F3000:

Battistuzzi switches teams Brazilian Marcelo Battistuzzi has switched from the Monaco Junior Team to B&C Competition (previously called New Alex Team) in the Italian F3000 championship, for whom he finished 12th in round 3 at Imola last Sunday. He replaces the Italian Stefano Comandini. His Monaco seat went to former Durango driver Paolo Montin. Team Ghinzani replaced reigning Italian F3000 champion Peter Sundberg with Marco Deiturbe, not M.Deitores as previously stated. Revised Imola entries are here. (Source: Autosport)

 

May 18th 2000 - International F3000:

Webber tests at Pembrey Silverstone F3000 winner Mark Webber tested with European Arrows at Pembrey in Wales last week to prepare for the Nurburgring race this weekend. He is confident that he and the team have resolved the problems which saw the Australian prove uncompetitive in Barcelona. (Source: Autosport)

 

May 18th 2000 - Italian F3000:

Hughes helps out British F3 team Italian F3000 round 3 winner Warren Hughes tested with Alan Docking Racing at Pembrey last week to help the British F3 team's competitiveness. The former British F3 frontrunner helped with set-up changes to benefit the team's regular driver Westley Barber. (Source: Autosport)

 

May 18th 2000 - Italian F3000:

Edenbridge plan saloon attack Former International and Italian F3000 team Edenbridge Racing is planning to contest the British National Saloon Series next year in a manufacturer-backed deal. The squad owned by Peter Briggs sold its International F3000 entry to European Racing last year (Source: Autosport)

 

May 17th 2000 - International F3000:

Davies drafted in by Fortec International F3000 race-winner Jamie Davies will drive for Fortec Motorsport in round 4 at the Nurburgring this weekend as replacement for the injured Mario Haberfeld. He only got clearance from the FIA to race today, as regulations state that only one nominated driver, in Fortec's case Andreas Scheld, can be changed during the season. Davies, from Somerset in England, tested at Snetterton for the team today during the lunch-break of British F3 testing. Davies is returning to the team he raced for in the latter half of the 1995 British F3 championship. The 26-year old competed in F3000 for DAMS in 1997-1998 and European Formula last year, finishing 4th overall in the 1997 standings. Haberfeld, who injured his leg in a qualifying shunt at Barcelona, is recuperating at home in Brazil and hopes to return next month, although he is not expected to be fit for the Monaco race two weeks after the Nurburgring round. Davies will only be able to race for the team again if he can raise the necessary budget. Fortec has been approached by a number of drivers who want to race at Monaco, but Davies is the team's preferred option. (Source: BBC Ceefax / www.autosportnews.comwww.autosport.com)

 

 

May 15th 2000 - International F3000:

Max Wilson joins new team for 2001 CART series Former International F3000 front-runner Max Wilson has signed for the new Sigma Champcar team. The formation of the team that will compete in CART in 2001 was announced yesterday in Chicago, Illinois. Sigma will run a Lola chassis with a Ford engine next year. Brazilian Wilson raced in F3000 between 1997 and 1999, first for Edenbridge and then for Petrobras Junior. He shared Williams F1 testing duties with Juan Montoya in 1998 and was in contention for the 2000 Minardi seat that went to Gaston Mazzacane. (Source: www.speedvision.com / Phil Larsen)

 

May 15th 2000 - Italian F3000:

Hughes takes first Italian F3000 win Former British F3 star Warren Hughes took a dominant victory in the third round of Italian F3000 at Imola yesterday. The Arden Team Russia driver, who started from pole, finished 10 seconds ahead of Gabriele Lancieri (Sighinolfi) who was closely pursued by Rodrigo Sperafico (Draco). The latter's twin brother Ricardo (ADM Motorsport) took fourth with the Monaco Motorsport pair of Manuel Giao and Gianluca Calcagni taking the final points. Andrej Pavicevic (Durango Benetton Junior) retired with a gearbox problem. The win puts Hughes into second in the standings, 5 points behind Lancieri. Full qualifying and race results are here (report to follow).

 

May 14th 2000 - Italian F3000:

Hughes takes pole at Imola Former British F3 driver Warren Hughes (Arden) took pole position for Round 3 of the Italian F3000 championship at Imola yesterday. His time of 1m.40.808s put him alongside championship leader Gabriele Lancieri (Sighinolfi) on the front row. Third and fourth places went to the Sperafico brothers Rodrigo (Draco) and Ricardo (ADM). They will start ahead of fellow SudAm F3 graduate Leonardo Nienkotter (Draco) and the impressive "Babalus" (First GP). German F3-bound Peter Sundberg has been replaced by Marco Deiturbe at Team Ghinzani, while Paolo Montin also made his return in place of Marcelo Battistuzzi in the Monaco Junior team. Battistuzzi has switched to B&C Competition (formerly named New Alex Team) in place of Stefano Comandini. International F3000 team Fortec Motorsport did not make their expected debut in the championship. Full qualifying times are here.(Source: www.autosportnews.com)

 

May 12th 2000 - International F3000:

Fontana hurt in CART accident Former Fortec F3000 driver Norberto Fontana was injured in a shunt in Friday morning practice for tomorrow's CART round at Motegi, Japan. The Argentinian Della Penna Motorsports driver briefly lost consciousness and was transferred to Dokkyo University Hospital for observation. The CAT scan of his head and neck proved negative but he will miss the race. (Source: www.motorsport.com)

 

May 12th 2000 - Italian F3000:

Sunberg joins Team Kolles in German F3 Italian F3 champion Peter Sundberg has replaced British F3 champion Marc Hynes in the Team Kolles squad in German F3. The Swede tested the team's Dallara-Mugen at the A1-Ring last week. Sundberg has been racing in the Italian F3000 series this year for Team Ghinzani, replacing Gabriele Varano who encountered difficulties obtaining his racing licence. Hynes meanwhile failed to make his rumoured International F3000 debut at Barcelona last Saturday. WRT driver Hidetoshi Mitsusada overcame his budget problems and went on to record his third DNQ of the season. (Source: Autosport)

 

May 12th 2000 - International F3000:

Watt marries and plans racing return Jason Watt, the 1999 F3000 runner-up who was left paralysed after a motorcycle accident in the off-season, married his girlfriend Mai Britt in Denmark last week. The Dane also won an indoor kart race, beating Jan Magnussen and John Nielsen in a specially adapted kart. He plans to race in the Danish Touring Car championship this year. (Source: Autosport)

 

May 6th 2000 - International F3000:

Haberfeld update: leg not broken Former British F3 champion Mario Haberfeld did not break his leg after all in his qualifying accident yesterday. Fortec Motorsport announced on Saturday morning that the Brazilian only suffered a deep cut in his left thigh from the side impact with Andrea Piccini's car. Doctors have also had to drain fluid off bruising of his left shin. Haberfeld should be released from hospital in the next few days. He will miss the next round at the Nurburgring but may return for the Monaco race in a month's time. The medical crew at the circuit made an initial diagnosis of two breaks in his left leg, but this was proven incorrect once he was airlifted to hospital. Haberfeld had suffered a similar injury over a year earlier, breaking his leg in a testing shunt for the West Competition/McLaren junior team. (Source: www.autosport.com)

 

May 6th 2000 - International F3000:

Junqueira takes win at Barcelona Bruno Junqueira won an exciting round three at Barcelona today. The Petrobras Junior driver was joined on the podium by the Super Nova pair of Nicolas Minassian and David Saelens, making it a successful day for David Sears who runs both teams. The remaining points for 4th, 5th and 6th went to Jeffrey van Hooydonk (Witmeur KTR), Justin Wilson (Nordic) and Franck Montagny (DAMS). Polesitter Enrique Bernoldi (Red Bull Junior) led for much of the race before dropping into the clutches of Saelens and Junqueira. Bernoldi had a problem, possibly with his left rear tyre, which saw Junqueira take the lead into the first corner before Bernoldi slipped further down the field and collided with teammate Ricardo Mauricio. Minassian then passed Saelens for 2nd, the two teammates unable to close on Junqueira who pulled out a gap in the lead. Junqueira's win elevates him to the lead of the championship with previous points leader Mark Webber (European Arrows) out of contention in 20th place. Stephane Sarrazin had another dire race, finishing in 9th spot. His McLaren Junior teammate Tomas Enge threw away 4th place with a spin. See the qualifying & race times and report here.

 

May 5th 2000 - International F3000:

Bernoldi secures first pole in dramatic qualifying Sauber F1 test driver took his first ever F3000 pole position today in qualifying for round 3 at Barcelona. The Red Bull Junior driver will start ahead of fellow Brazilian Bruno Junqueira (Petrobras Junior). McLaren Junior's Tomas Enge will start in third place alongside Super Nova's David Saelens. Imola winner Nicolas Minassian (Super Nova) starts third alongside Soheil Ayari (Coloni). The first qualifying session was disrupted by two major accidents. On his first out lap Fabrice Walfisch (Astromega) ran wide exiting the final corner and spun into the pit wall. Later in the session Mario Haberfeld spun exiting the same corner before rolling back onto the track, directly into the path of Andrea Piccini and Nicolas Minassian. Haberfeld was trapped in his car after a sickening double impact and suffered a broken left leg (see below). The second crash caused the first session to be brought to a premature end. The second session did not provide favourable track conditions and few drivers improved on their times. Silverstone winner and championship leader Mark Webber (European Arrows) had a poor qualifying to start 16th, two places behind Stephane Sarrazin whose expected championship challenge with McLaren Junior is yet to materialise. Silversone runner-up Darren Manning (Arden) will start in 19th place. Spanish rookie sensation Fernando Alonso (Astromega) could only manage 17th place on the grid. The non-qualifiers are Walfisch, Andreas Scheld and Hidetoshi Mitsusada. See the times here.

 

May 5th 2000 - International F3000:

Haberfeld breaks leg in horror shunt Former British F3 champion Mario Haberfeld was injured in a serious crash in first qualifying at Barcelona today. The Fortec driver spun off in the final corner after dust was kicked up by Fernando Alonso. Haberfeld's car then rolled back onto the main straight where it was hit broadside by the unsighted cars of Andrea Piccini and Nicolas Minassian. The Brazilian had to be cut out of the wreckage and the session was ended prematurely as a result. Piccini initially went to Haberfeld's assistance before the medical team arrived. Rubens Barrichello also left the Ferrari pit garage to attend the crash scene of his friend and countryman. Haberfeld was airlifted to a local hospital where his team confirmed that he had broken his left leg in two places. A large hole was clearly visible in the tub ahead of the sidepods, a result of the impact of Piccini's Kid Jensen Racing Lola. The cars of Piccini and Minassian were heavily damaged. It was a bitter blow for Piccini who suffered a similar accident in qualifying for the previous round at Silverstone.

 

May 5th 2000 - International F3000:

Walfisch crashes on first lap Frenchman Fabrice Walfisch was lucky to escape unharmed from a heavy crash in the first qualifying session at Barcelona. On his first "out lap" he spun his Astromega Lola exiting the final corner into the tyre-protected wall running alongside the pit lane entrance. It was a crash reminiscent of Heinz-Harald Frentzen's shunt in the warm-up for the 1996 Spanish Grand Prix. Walfisch appeared to be dazed as he sat in the car after the impact, but as he climbed out it was clear that he was essentially uninjured. The rear left of the car was heavily damaged, meaning Walfisch had to sit out the remaining qualifying sessions. Since he failed to set a time he has not qualified for tomorrow's race. It was another embarrassing moment for the former French F3 front-runner who spun out behind the safety car at Silverstone two weeks ago.

 

May 5th 2000 - International F3000:

Hynes linked with WRT drive British F3 champion Marc Hynes was linked with a possible F3000 drive for WRT before round 3 at Barcelona. He would replace Hidetoshi Mitsusada, the Benetton test driver who has not qualified for the first two rounds and is short of sponsorship. Mitsusada will compete in Barcelona, however. Hynes previously lost out to Warren Hughes in a shootout for an Arden seat in Italian F3000. (Source: Autosport)

  

{ARCHIVED NEWS}

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

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