Mercedes-Benz Motorsport season preview

Seven drivers from six countries powered by Mercedes-Benz Engines. Racing version of the Mercedes-Benz engine M271 developed from new four-cylinder production. In the 2003 season, seven drivers from six countries will start the new Formula 3...

Seven drivers from six countries powered by Mercedes-Benz Engines.
Racing version of the Mercedes-Benz engine M271 developed from new four-cylinder production.

In the 2003 season, seven drivers from six countries will start the new Formula 3 Euro Series powered by the Mercedes-Benz en-gine M271 F3.

German Markus Winkelhock (22) and Austrian Christian Klien (20) will be entered by Team Mücke Motorsport. In 2002, Winkelhock scored the Mercedes-Benz engine's first victory when he won the Nürburgring race in August, less than four months after the engine's competition debut. Klien clinched the 2002 German Formula Renault Championship title.

Dutchman Charles Zwolsman (23) and Bel-gium's Jan Heylen (22) are team mates in Team Kolles Racing. Last season, Zwolsman started with a Pole Position and places three and four in the first two German Championship rounds, but missed the second half of the season due to illness. Heylen won the 2002 Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch (GBR), a very competitive event for young talents.

French team ASM enters Canadian Bruno Spengler (19) as well as French drivers Olivier Pla (21) and Alexandre Premat (20). Spengler won the North American Formula Renault Championship title and finished runner-up in the same category in Germany. He scored 16 victo-ries out of 28 races in 2002. Pla finished third overall in the French Formula 3 Championship and won the Korean Formula 3 Grand Prix. Premat won the 2002 French Formula Renault Championship title.

The Mercedes-Benz Formula 3 engine has been developed about a year ago from the 1.8-litre version of the new four-cylinder generation powering the C-Class since last June. The race engine's capacity was increased to almost two litres. According to the technical regulations, it has to do without compressor and direct petrol injection - both are part of the innovative tech-nology package of the new production engines. Like the production engine, the race engine stands out for its high torque with good per-formance characteristics and for its low weight. It will develop more than 200 hp.

The new Formula 3 Euro Series will be pro-moted by German motor sports governing body DMSB and the French federation FFSA. The championship consists of ten events with two races each. On seven occasions, the Euro Series will be part of DTM events. Highlight reports on all races will be shown on German TV channels ARD and ZDF.

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "The German and the French For-mula 3 Championships are among the most important series for young talents. To combine them in one championship makes it even more valuable for up-and-coming drivers. Many for-mer Formula 3 champions of both countries had successful careers in motor racing. For example, our DTM drivers Jean Alesi and Bernd Schnei-der have been the 1987 French and German Formula 3 Champions respectively. We are happy to continue our traditional support of young talents in the new Euro Series and to demonstrate the competitiveness of the new Mercedes-Benz four-cylinder production engine concept."

-mbm-

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About this article
Series F3 Europe
Drivers Jean Alesi , Norbert Haug , Bruno Spengler , Christian Klien , Olivier Pla , Jan Heylen , Alexandre Prémat , Charles Zwolsman , Markus Winkelhock
Teams Mücke Motorsport , Kolles Racing