Justin Wilson got his 2001 season off to a great start by topping the time sheets at Imola in the year's first official F3000 test. The 1998 Formula Palmer Audi champion spent the opening day of the two day test working with his Coca Cola Nordic...
Justin Wilson got his 2001 season off to a great start by topping the time sheets at Imola in the year's first official F3000 test.
The 1998 Formula Palmer Audi champion spent the opening day of the two day test working with his Coca Cola Nordic Racing team on the set up of his car. Even though he was concentrating on the cars handling, Justin was immediately on the pace, finishing the opening day just four-tenths off the best time.
On day two the team made some further adjustments to the car and Wilson went for a quick lap. They were rewarded early on when Justin set the fastest time of the two day test, recording a time of 1:37.851. Wilson was all set to go even faster in the afternoon when an accident cut short his run. He emerged unhurt, but it brought his test session to an abrupt end. However, no one was able to beat Wilson's blistering morning run despite the best efforts of the other 24 drivers, including Jaime Melo, Benetton test driver Mark Webber, reigning British F3 champion Antonio Pizzonia and Justin's Nordic team mate Tomas Enge.
"I very pleased with the time. We were working hard on the set up on the first day and went for a fast time on the second. The car is really working well and we are over a second faster here than we were last year. I had two sets of tyres for the afternoon session, but I tried too hard early on and had the accident. It wasn't a big impact, just damaging the rear corner and rear wing. This is a good start to 2001 and I'm really looking forward to the next test at Jerez, where we can hopefully carry forward what we've achieved here.
<pre> 1 Justin WILSON GBR Coca-Cola Nordic Racing 1:37.851
2 Jaime MELO Jr. BRZ Durango 1:37.900
3 Mark WEBBER AUS Super Nova 1:38.235
4 Patrick FRIESACHER AUT Red Bull Junior 1:38.436
5 Mario HABERFELD BRZ Super Nova 1:38.453
6 Rodrigo SPERAFICO BRZ Coloni 1:38.489
7 Tomas ENGE CZE Coca-Cola Nordic Racing 1:38.511
8 Darren MANNING GBR Arden Team Russia 1:38.560
9 Antonio PIZZONIA BRZ Petrobras Junior 1:38.634
10 Ricardo SPERAFICO BRZ Petrobras Junior 1:38.677
-Formula Palmer Audi