Coloni confirms 2004 driver line-up

Coloni Motorsport has confirmed its FIA Formula 3000 International Championship line up for the 2004 season. Turkish driver Can Artam and Belgian Jeffrey van Hooydonk will drive under the Coloni Motorsport banner, while the Coloni-managed CMS ...

Coloni Motorsport has confirmed its FIA Formula 3000 International Championship line up for the 2004 season. Turkish driver Can Artam and Belgian Jeffrey van Hooydonk will drive under the Coloni Motorsport banner, while the Coloni-managed CMS Performance operation will field Austrian Mathias Lauda and Argentine Josè Maria Lopez.

"We have signed four very talented drivers who all have the potential to achieve their respective objectives this season," said team principal Paolo Coloni. "This is the strongest line up we have been able to secure during our history and the whole team is very eager for the season to get underway and for our drivers to start realising their potential.

"The drivers all possess differing levels of experience but they all have the right attitude that is necessary to succeed at this level and I am very optimistic that we will have an extremely successful year," Coloni added.

Coloni's optimism has increased further following the first two official test sessions of the season during which Josè Maria Lopez has topped the timesheets and his other drivers have all posted impressive performances.

"Testing has gone according to plan and everything we set out to achieve at the start of a test we have managed to do," Coloni continued. "Whether this is specific circuit set up work or conducting running under race conditions we have been successful and we have all been heartened by the pace all the drivers have shown and how they have progressed."

Can Artam, the least experienced of the Coloni quartet, is relishing the challenge ahead, saying: "Without a doubt I have more to learn than my team-mates but we share a lot of information and I have a lot of belief in my ability. I am not planning to master Formula 3000 in one season as I know it will take two years or maybe more but I am hoping I can get my F3000 career off to a good start."

Mathias Lauda, the youngest son of three-time Formula One World Champion Niki Lauda, enthused: "Coloni is one of the best teams in the field and so this is a very good move for me. For sure F3000 is a very tough series and there is a lot to learn but I have a very good team around me to help. I am confident I will be competitive and achieve my objectives."

Juan Maria Lopez, a member of the Renault Driver Development programme, said: "I have moved to F3000 to race in front of the Formula One team managers and I would like to think they have already noticed what I have achieved in testing. Of course testing and racing are two different disciplines but I believe I can carry over the form to the races and do very well in this championship."

Jeffrey van Hooydonk is entering his third full season in the category this year and will be looking to put that experience to good use, saying. "I have a very good shot at the title and I do not want to waste the opportunity Coloni Motorsport has given me. I have good knowledge of the cars and the circuits which will be very helpful to me."

The FIA Formula 3000 International Championship gets underway at Imola on April 24th. The 10-round series supports the European Grand Prix circus, concluding with the Italian Grand Prix support race at Monza on September 11th.

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About this article
Series F3000
Drivers Niki Lauda , Can Artam , Jose Maria Lopez , Mathias Lauda , Paolo Coloni