Friesacher third quickest for Coloni in Hungary

Coloni Motorsport's Patrick Friesacher will start in third position on the grid for tomorrow's eighth round of the FIA Formula 3000 International Championship at the Hungaroring, which is located just outside the Hungarian capital Budapest.

It marks the second consecutive race that the Austrian driver has qualified in the top three and further underlines his emergence as a major contender during the second half of the season following his mid-term switch to Coloni from the Super Nova Racing squad.

Argentine Jose Maria Lopez, driving for the Coloni-managed CMS Performance squad, was a strong fifth fastest, still on a high after his storming drive to sixth from 13th on the grid in the last round at Hockenheim. His CMS stablemate Mathias Lauda was 13th fastest with Chanoch Nissany, making his race debut for the Coloni team in place of Can Artam, 17th quickest.

"Patrick did a very good job and was very quick," said team principal Paolo Coloni. "He was on pole when he put on his last set of tyres which caused his car to suffer from a lot of understeer. But third place is a good performance and I really hope that Patrick can win. To see both Patrick and Jose Maria on the podium would make me very happy because the cars are very good. It will be an interesting race and there is a chance it may rain."

Mathias Lauda's efforts in the free practice session were hampered by a gearbox problem, which limited his running to only a handful of laps. In qualifying, he got delayed by traffic when running on new tyres.

Chanoch Nissany, making his Formula 3000 debut, improved his free practice time by more than two seconds in qualifying.

"He did a really solid performance," added Coloni. "He is a really nice guy and intent on improving himself."