CHAMPCAR/CART: Minardi to test Bell

Minardi continue with the enthusiastic trying out of new drivers it has been doing lately with another American, former Barber Dodge Pro and CART racer Townsend Bell. Minardi formerly had Bryan Herta behind the wheel and Bell is set to take to an F1 car at the Mugello track in Italy on the 17th and 18th of September.

Townsend Bell.
Photo by David Reininger.
"It will be nice to get a taste for things and learn about the car, the team and the F1 environment in general," he said. Bell, the 2001 Dayton Indy Lights Champion, started his first full season in the CART series with Patrick Racing this year but was replaced by Oriol Servia in July. Bell incurred one too many penalties for dangerous maneuvers on track for the team's liking.

Herta also won the Dayton Indy Lights, in 1993, and raced in CART for eight years. Currently racing in the American Le Mans series with Panoz, Herta drove for Minardi at the Thunder In The Park weekend at Donington Park in the UK. It was not an official test as it took place during the F1 summer break when testing is not allowed.

Minardi tested Russian Sergei Zlobin recently, who competes in the European F3000 series, as part of an agreement with new Russian sponsors Gazprom. Boss Paul Stoddart has expressed an interest in British drivers too: BAR tester Anthony Davidson, who replaced Alex Yoong for two races, and 2001 F3000 champion Justin Wilson.