Former Skip Barber Race Series standout and 2000 British Formula 3 Champion Antonio Pizzonia recently turned in a fantastic display of speed and road manners during F3000 tests at the Estoril circuit. Pizzonia started the official FIA test on Oct. 24-25 and placed second on the time sheets driving the Petrobras Junior team Lola. The young Brazilian was .5-sec quicker than the nearest competitor and 2-sec faster than 1997 Barber Dodge Pro Series Champion Derek Hill, who placed sixth.
Hill, driving for Kid Jensen Racing, ran a two-day test at Jerez last month. The 25-year old, who had been with Italia F3000, plans to drive in International F3000 next year and will participate in a total of eight test days over the next two months. He continues to build on his experience of the formula gained in the Italian F3000 championship last season. Hill drove in Barcelona both for KJR and for Jean-Paul Driot's DAMS team (with the third-fastest time in the final session) and for Petrobras Junior at Estoril last week, where he was 12th-fastest.
Among the other Americans testing in Spain were 1998 Barber Dodge Pro Series Champion Will Langhorne and Buddy Rice. The U.S. based delegates have all tested with top-line teams over the last two months but they have ground to make up on the experience of Pizzonia and his fellow Brazilians. Langhorne had previously tested in Europe running in the British Vauxhall and European Formula Ford Series before coming back to the States to run in Toyota Atlantics.
- by Andrew Torres