Mathias Lauda signs with Coloni Motorsport

Lauda joins Coloni for F3000 attack Coloni Motorsport has completed the signing of Mathias Lauda to contest the 2004 FIA Formula 3000 International Championship. The Austrian driver, son of three-time Formula One World Champion Niki Lauda, ...

Lauda joins Coloni for F3000 attack

Coloni Motorsport has completed the signing of Mathias Lauda to contest the 2004 FIA Formula 3000 International Championship. The Austrian driver, son of three-time Formula One World Champion Niki Lauda, will test for the Coloni-managed CMS Performance squad in Jerez this week and may race for the Coloni satellite outfit this year.

"We are very pleased to have signed Mathias as I believe he is a very talented driver," said team owner Paolo Coloni. "He did very well when he completed his first F3000 test particularly as he does not have very much experience. From analysing his performance more closely I believe he is going to be very good and improve every time he gets into the car and I am really looking forward to working with him."

Lauda, who finished eighth in the predominantly Spanish-based World Series Light Championship in 2003, will partner Belgian driver Jeffrey van Hooydonk in the two day test in Spain as he prepares for the 2004 season.

"Coloni is one of the best teams in the field and so this is a very good move for me," said Lauda. "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 the test in Jerez will see how my times compare to the other drivers."

Salzburg-born Lauda made his racing debut at the age of 21 when he contested the Formula Nissan 2000 series in 2002. He also raced in the Formula VW Championship in Germany and the UK Formula Renault Winter Championship.

"There are some circuits I don't know but there are some tracks I know quite well," Lauda continued. "I don't really worry about that because I think I am a quick learner and my team-mates obviously have some experience so we can work together. The step up to F3000 doesn't bother me either, because I have already driven in a few tests and also drove the V6 Nissan World Series car which has a similar performance."

The Coloni attack will also include Argentine Jose Maria Lopez and Turkish rookie Can Artam. A decision regarding the Italian squad's final 2004 line-up will be confirmed later this month.

"We have a good team in place for this season and we are hoping our experience and ability will help our drivers be competitive this season," Coloni added.

Lauda is also working with major sponsor Superfund to contest the Euro 3000 series alongside his International Championship programme. The 23-year-old is likely to drive for the Italian-based GP Racing operation.

"We will know more about this soon," Lauda confirmed. "Doing both series will mean quite a lot of racing but this will only be good for helping me learn and improve."

-www.colonimotorsport.com

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Series F3000