2001 season starts early for Derek Hill

Derek Hill's plans to enter the 2001 FIA Formula 3000 International Championship are coming together rapidly - he will start testing on the 17th October 2000 in Jerez, Spain. This is the first of eight day's he will complete in October and ...

Derek Hill's plans to enter the 2001 FIA Formula 3000 International Championship are coming together rapidly - he will start testing on the 17th October 2000 in Jerez, Spain. This is the first of eight day's he will complete in October and November. This is Derek's first outing in the Lola 50/99 Formula 3000 Chassis, which is very similar to the Lola Chassis he has used this season in the Italian Championship.

Derek said : " We have put together a program of tests, with several of the leading teams in the FIA 3000 Championship. This will give them a chance to have a look at what I can do and also for me to see how they work and try to identify the best position for the 2001 Championship.

"Formula 3000 is so competitive and all the teams are very good, so we have to find the best one that will be as competitive as possible in 2001. We are starting the tests with Kid Jensen Racing at Jerez, they are a race winning team and we will do three of the eight days with them.

"I am really looking forward to actually testing a car that I will race next year, just over five months before the start of the season. In recent years my programs have always started late and we have been playing catch up all year. I will have done more miles of testing before the first race in Brazil in 2001, than I have done all season in Italy "

The Kid Jensen Racing team is next week launching a three-day test programme with rising star Derek Hill. The twenty five year old American, driver will drive for the Hampshire based team for two days in Jerez, Spain on 17th and 18th October and in Estoril, Portugal on 24th October.

This programme will give both Derek and the team a chance to work together and evaluate the potential for the 2001 Championship season, which will start at the Interlagos circuit in Brazil on 31st March.

Derek Hill said: "I met the team last year and was impressed with the set-up and their performance in 1999 when they won at Silverstone with Nicolas Minassian. We stayed in contact and now that I have decided to compete in the 2001 International Formula 3000 Championship, it is a good opportunity to see how they work at the track. I acquired a lot of experience in 2000 when I raced in the Italian Formula 3000 Championship and I am looking forward to driving a Lola T50/99.

David Jensen, Team Principal, said: "I am delighted that Derek chose the Kid Jensen Racing team to launch his preparation for the 2001 Championship. It is great to welcome another North American on board and we all look forward to a successful programme in Spain and Portugal that may lead to him driving with us in 2001. Formula 3000 is extremely competitive and it is crucial for drivers to get as much mileage as possible before the start of the season. I am sure Derek will have a successful 2001 season."

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Series F3000