2004 season preview

World Series by Nissan 2004: The Year of the Victory Today, the capped-costs, the top professional drivers and teams, and the quality of the Dallara Nissan SN01 car are some of the strongest points of he World Series by Nissan, regarded as the...

World Series by Nissan 2004: The Year of the Victory

Today, the capped-costs, the top professional drivers and teams, and the quality of the Dallara Nissan SN01 car are some of the strongest points of he World Series by Nissan, regarded as the best single-seater competition besides Formula One and IRL.

The Pre-season will offer 4 days of official tests between Jarama and Barcelona. The eleven entered teams in 2004 had a lot of work to prepare until the first meeting takes place (March, 28 -- Jarama)

Tomorrow, Heikki Kovalainen, Narain Kartikheyan, Enrique Bernoldi, Bruce Jouanny, Tiago Monteiro, Adrian Valles, and other 11 top drivers will step in the track after a long winter pause.

Hunger for victory.

2003 was a solid Season, with a solid leader. The winner, Franck Montagny, in his current job of third driver with RenaultF1, is probably celebrating the first 2004 podium for the Team, (5th for Alonso, former F Nissan champ). Bas Leinders, the top 3 driver of the World Series by Nissan, has got a full job in Minardi Cosworth Team as a third driver, alongside Tiago Monteiro, now in Carlin Motorsport, who will be involved in all the development works with the Faenza-based Team.

But tomorrow, the World Series by Nissan will start its third year of successful history. The 17 confirmed drivers for the test are listed below, as well as the list of confirmed teams, with three new names upon de list of team owners, Santiago Porfesa (Porfesa Competicion), Paul Belmondo (Belmondo Racing), and Sito Pons (Pons Racing).

Former World Series front-runner teams Adrian Campos Motorsport and Racing Engineering have stepped down of the Series and now both will be focused in the national F3 championship. They had played a very important role in the Series and their merits deserve a special place in the World Series history.

The future starts tomorrow

The Finnish Heikki Kovalainen, runner-up in 2003, is highly rated as the man to fight for the Title, and his new team Pons Racing has putted a lot of effort in order to achieve this goal. Pons Racing, owned by the two-time World Bike Champion, Sito Pons, will be backed by top technical staff, as Jesus Sanchez and Juan Krutchkoff have joined the Team. Sito Pons has line-up a second car for the Spanish-ace Adrian Valles, (17); and he is strongly convinced that Valles may soon follow the steps of Alonso in Formula One.

The wining team, Gabord Competicion, has joined forcers with Reynaldo Cozzani and the World Series Light winner, Juan Cruz Alvarez. The Argentinean already tested the Gabord car last December. The new Gabord-Reyco team will also test with the Russian driver Roman Rusinov in Jarama and Barcelona.

The Indian Narain Kartikheyan has moved back to his former team RC Motorsport. In 2002, the Italian squad allowed him to put some impressive drives. Kartikheyan, one of the most spectacular drivers of the Series finished 4th in the 2003 Season with top team Carlin Motorsport. By the moment the Britons had only confirmed the newcomer Tiago Monteiro, but an announce is due to arrive shortly.

GD Racing's driver Pablo Donoso and Series front-runner Enrique Bernoldi will join GD Racing for the test at Jarama and Barcelona. The former F1 driver has yet to be confirmed but the team and he are working to find an agreement for the Season. Two French drivers will found in the Belgian team, KTR: Didier Andre and Bruce Jouanny, one of the Series animators.

Fukuda is the first Japanese driver to enter the World Series by Nissan

The French Team Saulnier Racing will test his single-confirmed driver, the also French Tristan Gommendy. He was one of top drivers in the FRenaultV6 Eurocup, and Serge Saulnier thinks that this young driver belongs to the new French generation of talents.

Epsilon Euskadi and his two drivers, Jean-Cristophe Ravier and Ander Vilariño, 5th and 8th in the Series last year, will miss the test in Jarama, but they will be ready to take the job in Barcelona. Vilariño and Ravier will face their third season in the Team. During the presentation of the urban circuit of Bilbao, to be set in 2005, Vilariño declared that he's now ready to fight of the final victory, and also that he's looking to take a full-time job in Formula One, as a test-driver.

Vergani Formula will test Rodrigo Sperafico, who will be also taking part in the test to be held at Barcelona. Milka Duno, from Venezuela, will be testing with the team in both Circuits.

As for the other new teams, Belmondo Racing will have his first World Series by Nissan test tomorrow in Madrid. Boris Derichebourg and Ryo Fukuda, the first Japanese to compete in the World Series by Nissan, are ready to face the challenge. Both drivers will concentrate in getting to konw the car.

Last but not least, Porfesa Competicion will retake the job started before Christmas with the two Spanish drivers, Felix Porterio and Roldan Rodriguez. The Team has putted a lot of confidence in his first year. The Team has reported to have worked in several developments during the winter and they would like to see a very much improved car from tomorrow on.

WHAT IS NEW

DRIVERS
Tristan Gommendy FR Saulnier Racing
Ryo Fukuda JP Belmondo Racing
Juan Cruz Alvarez (ARG) Gabord-Reyco
Pablo Donoso (CHI) GD Racing
Tiago Monteiro (POR) Carlin Motorsport
Boris Derichebourg (FRA) Belmondo Racing
Roldan Rodriguez (SPA) Porfesa Competicion
Adrian Valles (SPA) Pons Racing

TEAMS
Porfesa Competicion SPAIN
Belmondo Racing FRANCE
Pons Racing SPAIN

REGULATIONS

Private Test
The number of kilometres allowed for private testing has been reduced from 2000 to 1000.

New Point Award System
The point award to the top 10 drivers in each race has change in order and the difference between the winner and the second driver will be reduced. The new point award system is as follows:
15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
The fastest lap award remains 2 points.

"Stop and Go"
The "Stop and Go" penalties will be replaced by "Drive Through".

WORLD SERIES BY NISSAN COLLECTIVE TEST
Jarama (9-10 March)/Catalunya (13-14 March)

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Milka Duno , Enrique Bernoldi , Bruce Jouanny , Didier André , Ryo Fukuda , Tiago Monteiro , Rodrigo Sperafico , Boris Derichebourg , Heikki Kovalainen , Tristan Gommendy , Roman Rusinov , Bas Leinders , Adrian Valles , Juan Cruz Alvarez , Pablo Donoso , Adrian Campos , Serge Saulnier
Teams Carlin , Racing Engineering