BF3

James Rossiter Croft test notes 2004-03-19

James Rossiter has stunned the Formula Three world by setting the pace in official testing at Croft with the circuit's fastest ever official lap time in his Celerant-backed Dallara/Spiess-Opel -- and he claims he can go even faster. James,...

James Rossiter has stunned the Formula Three world by setting the pace in official testing at Croft with the circuit's fastest ever official lap time in his Celerant-backed Dallara/Spiess-Opel -- and he claims he can go even faster.

James, in his first season of British Formula Three, was the best of a world-class field of 23 drivers on each of the two days of testing at the 2.1-mile North Yorkshire circuit -- one of the toughest in Britain to crack. His fastest lap time of one minute, 13.247 seconds was achieved at an astonishing average speed of 104.52mph.

And he said: "It could have been even faster. My best lap wasn't quite perfect, but we were still fastest which is very encouraging. Had it been perfect I know I would have been in the 1m12 seconds bracket. It feels awesome being fastest and even more so knowing we've got something extra in hand if we need it."

James, aged 20, has consistently shone as one of the fastest drivers in testing in the run-up to the British Formula Three Championship. His performances are all the more remarkable considering this will only be his third season of motor racing after taking up the sport much later than most drivers, when he was aged 15.

His Fortec Motorsport team boss Richard Dutton, whose past drivers include Williams Formula One star Juan Pablo Montoya, has already pointed to James's exceptionally high natural driving ability and technical understanding as two reasons for signing him for 2004.

And this was backed up after the Croft test by his race engineer Phill Di Fazio, who added: "James has been doing brilliantly -- he is perfect for our team. He just gets faster and faster with every test and this was underlined by the fact we were fastest on both Wednesday and Thursday at Croft.

"His technical feedback is excellent and he's also very sensitive to any changes we make to the car which helps us to accelerate our testing programme. It is also important to remember that he is still learning."

James now has one more test planned -- next Thursday, 25th March at Donington Park -- before he makes his British Formula Three race debut there on Sunday, 4th April.

-jrr-

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Series BF3