FAIRFIELD, N.J. (November 19, 2001) -- Billy Asaro is back in Canada following a successful Formula Three test in the United Kingdom.
Asaro, who won this year's U.S. F2000 Road To Indy Oval Crown and placed second in the National Championship with three wins, tested with Team Avanti at the 1.456-mile Pembrey Circuit road course near Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, Wales.
Fresh from his first drive in a CART Toyota Atlantic Championship at Laguna Seca, Asaro was thrilled to have the opportunity to drive yet another thoroughbred racing machine, and his experience behind the wheel did not disappoint him.
"The Formula Three car was light and nimble," said the Unionville, Ontario, Canada resident. "It's the kind of car that can be pushed hard, but requires precision. It's demanding and requires absolute concentration. I can see why Formula Three drivers make their way to Formula One."
Team Avanti, owned by ex-Benetton Formula One engineer Nigel Clyde, won two races in the British Formula Three series last year and this year will spearhead Ralt's return as a chassis manufacturer in the Formula Three arena. Clyde, who has worked with several Formula One drivers including Gerhard Berger, Giancarlo Fisichela and Alexander Wurtz, was clearly impressed by the talented young Canadian.
"Billy [Asaro] had a very steep learning curve to deal with on his test day with it being his first visit to the Pembrey Circuit and first time in a Formula Three car, which is quite different to the cars he has driven in the past," said Clyde. "From the start, Billy showed a lot of confidence and maturity by getting to grips with the circuit and car very early and throughout the day getting down to a very competitive lap time, comparable to that of a regular British F3 driver. I have no doubt that if Billy had more time in the car he would have produced some very impressive lap times, showing his true caliber."
Asaro's dream is to race in Formula One and the British Formula Three series has been the focus of much attention in recent years as teams in the world's premier racing series have not shied from plucking Formula Three drivers for their own race cars. Many Formula One drivers, past and present, including Nelson Piquet, Johnny Herbert, Mika Hakkinen, Ayrton Senna, Rubens Barrichello and David Coulthard honed their skills at the wheel of a Formula Three car.
"There's no doubt that this series is second to none in terms of competition," said Asaro. "The teams and drivers are top-notch and I think racing here would push me very hard. You sink or swim, so in terms of developing myself as a driver, the British Formula Three series rates very highly."