Lola Cars International Ltd goes in to it's eighth consecutive season as sole chassis supplier to the International Formula 3000 Championship in 2003 with yet another wave of fresh, talented and exciting young racing driversvying for seats in the top two single seater Championships in the world - the FIA Formula One World Championship and the Champ Car World Series.
Of the drivers who will be on the grid at the first Grand Prix of the year in Melbourne in March, ten of the twenty drivers have been nurtured in the series that hosts each of its rounds during a Formula One race weekend. Of the eighteen champions since Formula 3000's inaugural year in 1985, only one driver (JorgMuller) has not gone on to F1 or the CART series.
Lola Cars International Ltd chairman, Martin Birrane re-emphasised the importance of Formula 3000 by commenting. "The quality of teams, suppliers and drivers has always been highly regarded in Formula 3000 and in 2003 we expect to see another vintage year. It was extremely heartening to see recent graduates Mark Webber and Justin Wilson make it in to F1 over the past year. This highlights the fact that rawtalent can break through financial hurdles."
Birrane also answered recent remarks made by new Jaguar F1 recruit Antonio Pizzonia who raced in F3000 in 2001 and 2002. "Antonio has shown that even if you are not a regular winner in Formula 3000 you still get noticed in F1 circles. However, I feel that his recent comments are not suitable for a driver who has been well supported both technically and financially throughout the last two years in F3000. Wronglyblaming his tools after the event is not in keeping with the level of professionalism that is associated with the FIA International F3000 Championship."
Seba stien Bourdais, the 2002 F3000 Champion is on the verge of taking a prized seat with last years CART champions Newman Haas, and is set to continue his link with Lola Cars this year. Giorgio Pantano, another successful member of the class of 02, is also scheduled to head stateside to race in the series thatsees Lola fielding the majority of the entrants.
2003 will see several new faces in F3000 challenging second year racers such as Bjorn Wirdheim and Rob Nguyen. Former World Karting champion Vitantonio Liuzzi, who recently tested for Williams BMW in F1, has teamed up with Coloni Motorsport and has already signalled his intention to enhance his growing reputation on the world stage.Mailing List Software provided byMSO.net