CHAMPCAR/CART: Germany Formula 3 oval test at EuroSpeedway Lausitz

First successful oval tests of Formula 3 at EuroSpeedway Lausitz. CART and DMSB promote the oval ambitions as co-operation partners. On May 6th and 7th, teams of the International German Formula 3 performed initial oval tests at the EuroSpeedway...

First successful oval tests of Formula 3 at EuroSpeedway Lausitz.
CART and DMSB promote the oval ambitions as co-operation partners.

On May 6th and 7th, teams of the International German Formula 3 performed initial oval tests at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz. The Opel BSR Team and the Swiss Racing Team, instructed by CART officials and in co-operation with DMSB, tested drivers and cars under high-speed conditions for the first time on the 2-mile superspeedway. The drivers and technicians were enthusiastic about the possibilities. A possible oval race in the 2003 season is now an interesting alternative to the Grand Prix race track.

On the morning of Monday, May 6th, the former Formula One pilot and Champ Car winner Roberto Moreno opened the testing day by giving theoretical instructions to the young Formula 3 drivers Frank Diefenbacher (Germany) from the BSR Team and Marc Benz (Switzerland), Norbert Siedler (Austria), as well as Gilles Tinguely (Switzerland) from the Swiss Racing Team. On the agenda were oval races and the demands that this high-speed motor sport makes on drivers and vehicles. In a subsequent track inspection, the Brasilian Roberto Moreno pointed out to his students the special features of the track and with which driving tricks they can be mastered.

In the afternoon, in glorious sunshine, the Formula 3 racing drivers then began their first test drives on the 2-mile superspeedway, which were completed without any incidents. On the first testing day, top speeds of 248 kilometres per hour and lap best times of around 48 seconds were already achieved.

The drivers were impressed and enthused by the first laps under the completely new conditions: "Only after returning to the starting/finishing lane from turn 3 did it dawn upon me that I had been driving at full throttle the whole time. It was fascinating to experience how the car reacted to the tiniest steering movements with changes in the final speed", is how Pforzheim-based Frank Diefenbacher, last year's vice-champion from the BSR Team, summed up his initial drives.

Othmar Welti, head of the Swiss Racing Team, stated that the first testing day was already a success: "During this oval test, our young drivers can concentrate on their cars in a totally different way and thus get a completely new feel for them. The pilots have a lot of fun driving the oval, and the machinery of the vehicles does not seem to suffer under the continual strain of the oval". In practice, this is confirmed by the clearance of the current Formula 3 cars by the highest international automobile sport federation FIA.

The testing days were accompanied by CART, the American owner of the rights to the Champ Car series. CART officials travelled to the EuroSpeedway Lausitz specially for this test. Chris Kneifel, CART Stewart and Lee Dykstra, Director Technology and Competition, assisted the teams with their long-standing experience. The CART officials additionally used the opportunity to take a look at the young up-and-coming Formula 3 pilots.

Hans-Jörg Fischer, CEO of EuroSpeedway Lausitz, was happy about the first successful tests: "As operator of the only 2-mile superspeedway in Europe, one focus of our work lies on establishing a culture of oval motor sport. We not only intend to bring American and British series to Europe, but also and especially to attract high-class German series and championships to our oval. If we succeed in winning over German and American motor sport experts to perform joint tests, as we have in the past two days, then we see ourselves on the right path."

Manfred Hahn, Managing Director of Formel 3-Vereinigung e.V. (Formula 3 Association), expressed himself optimistically: "The initial tests on the superspeedway were very promising. It is now still too early for a final assessment. In the coming days we will evaluate the collected data and then initiate the further necessary steps. Based on our initial impressions, we will at any rate hold on to our wish to conduct races in the oval as early as the 2003 season."

-esl-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Chris Kneifel , Roberto Moreno , Frank Diefenbacher , Norbert Siedler , Marc Benz , Othmar Welti