Round 1 (of 12). Sao Paulo. Saturday 31st March. Race preview. Saturday 31st March heralds the start of the 2001 FIA F3000 International Championship, when the new season kicks into life at the Interlagos circuit, on the outskirts of Sao Paulo,...
Round 1 (of 12). Sao Paulo. Saturday 31st March. Race preview.
Saturday 31st March heralds the start of the 2001 FIA F3000 International Championship, when the new season kicks into life at the Interlagos circuit, on the outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
This will be the first time that the International F3000 Championship has run in Brazil and for it to do so at a circuit such as Interlagos, is fitting indeed for a series that is preparing to play on a world stage for the first time in its history.
The Brazilian City of Sao Paulo held a race at the Interlagos circuit as early as 1940 when the circuit was built in a hilly natural amphitheatre on the outskirts of the city. Winding around itself and twice crossing a lake, this anticlockwise track was originally just under five miles long with all manner of flat and banked corners, fast straights and fast corners and hairpins.
Passion for motor racing in Brazil has always been high and with several Brazilian drivers making up the grid in this years F3000 championship, the home crowd at the opening race are sure to prove partisan. "The Brazilian drivers will have a home advantage for sure," explained Justin Wilson. "The Brazilian fans are fanatical about all things to do with motor racing and I am sure that they will be making a lot of noise for their drivers. Add to this the fact that they will all have previous track knowledge from racing at Interlagos before, then it all amounts to some sort of advantage. Having said that, both the team and myself know what is to be done for the opening race and we shall be looking to make sure that we are one of the top runners from the word go, and that starts with the first qualifying session."
2001 also sees the series grow from ten Formula One grand prix support events to 12 in total, the first and newest addition being Brazil, which is joined by another new venue Monza, Italy on the calendar.
"Finally the start of the season is upon us," said Team Principal Derek Mower. "Now it is time to start converting all the good testing results into race results and that is what we aim to do from the word go . The only concern that the team has is that we shall be at a disadvantage to the teams with Brazilian drivers, all of whom will have raced at the Interlagos circuit before in other race categories. Therefore, they will have some local knowledge. However, having said that, both Justin Wilson and Tomas Enge are eager to fight for the title from the word go, both drivers wishing to give the Coca-Cola Nordic Racing team its first podium of the season."