LEDBURY, ENGLAND, March 18, 2002 - European Minardi F3000 today announces that rising star, Alex Sperafico, has signed to drive for the team in the 2002 FIA International F3000 Championship. The 28-year-old, from Toledo, Parana, Brazil, enters his first season in the ultra-competitive single-seater series generally regarded as the final training ground for young drivers before graduation to Formula One.
Sperafico will be joined by David Saelens at the opening event of this year' s championship, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on March 30. The Belgian, who drove for European Minardi F3000 in 2001, is currently confirmed only for the Brazilian race, which will support the third round of the Formula One World Championship.
"We have been looking for the right chance to make the move to F3000, and in European Minardi, I believe we have found an excellent opportunity," comments Sperafico. "Over the last three seasons, the team has proven itself to be highly competitive and more than capable of scoring good results on a regular basis. It is a bonus that I will have my first race with them at Interlagos, which is circuit I know well."
In announcing Sperafico's appointment, Team Principal, Richard Salisbury, says, "We are pleased to have settled our driver line-up for Brazil and to know Alex will be with us for the season. David is already well known to us from his involvement with European Minardi F3000 last year. His experience and technical feedback will undoubtedly be useful in assisting the team to get to grips with the new Lola F3000 chassis. We're looking forward to a competitive season in 2002."
European Minardi F3000 will conduct a shakedown test of its cars at the Donington Park circuit in the UK this week. Confirmation of final arrangements for the team's second seat will be made in the near future.