The Firestone F3 Champ Will Test Drive Champ Car
Della Penna Motorsports team owner John Della Penna will host a Champ car test for the Firestone Formula 3 South American Champion for the second consecutive year.
Della Penna, CART's only Latin American team owner, will offer the 1999 F3 South American champ the opportunity to get behind the wheel of Richie Hearn's Budweiser Toyota/Swift/Firestone after the FedEx Championship Series and Firestone F3 South American Series seasons draw to a close.
Last year, four-time F3 South American titleholder, and fellow Argentine native, Gabriel Furlan completed a successful two-day test with Della Penna Motorsports in mid-November at Sebring International Raceway. Furlan is currently in negotiations with Della Penna to do further testing with the team and possibly add a second car effort for several races at the end of the season.
The Firestone Formula 3 Championship is the top open-wheel series in Latin America, said team owner John Della Penna, and it's the place where a number of drivers that currently compete in the FedEx Championship Series got their start including Helio Castro-Neves and Christian Fittipaldi.
The F3 Championship is not only a great place to develop drivers, but an excellent training ground for engineers and mechanics. Hopefully, this test will help give the (F3) series added exposure and reveal the opportunities that exist here in CART to the Latin American community.
Budweiser and Bridgestone Firestone sponsor Della Penna's #10 Budweiser Toyota/Swift/Firestone machine and are contributing to making this test possible for the Firestone F3 Champion. Bridgestone Firestone also sponsors the F3 South American Championship.
"I am very pleased with the Firestone F3 Championship, said Mark Emkes, President of Bridgestone Firestone, Brazil. John Della Pennams involvement brings the series to a higher level of awareness. We at Bridgestone Firestone are extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to offer young drivers the chance to drive a Champ car with an accomplished team."
ESPN International telecasts all FedEx Championship Series and Firestone Formula 3 South America events throughout Latin America on the ESPN International Channel.
"ESPN International is very pleased to be involved with South America's pre-eminent open-wheel racing series, said Minard Hamilton, Senior Vice President, ESPN International. It has proven a tremendous success for ESPN and its viewers and we look forward to continuing to grow the series."
This past weekend's 1999 GP Telemar Rio 200 (Saturday, May 15) marked the first time the Firestone Formula 3 South American Series served as the support race to CART's show.