Formula 3 Donington preview

The British Formula 3 championship kicks off once more this weekend at Donington Park, after several of the teams taking part took a minor detour to the international street race at Pau

Formula 3 Donington preview

Antonio Pizzonia (see feature) will attempt to defend his championship lead against the rising challenge of Tomas Scheckter and others. The Brazilian's last appearance in the series, at Brands Hatch, was his most dominant, and if anyone is to stop Pizzonia stealing an even bigger lead, a mammoth effort will be required.

While Pizzonia has been testing the Benetton F1 car and racing at Pau, Scheckter, the second placed man in the standings so far, has also been keeping his arm in.

The South African made his second appearance in an F3000 car, and in first race, almost won. At the Monza round of the Italian F3000 series, Scheckter was extremely impressive in leading until his tyres went off. As a result, he was forced to cede to Warren Hughes. Nevertheless, it was a notable debut and reinforces the belief that if anyone can stop Pizzonia taking the title, it is Scheckter.

Nicolas Kiesa has been improving steadily, as he and the RC Benetton team dial themselves into an unfamiliar championship. The Dane took an incredibly promising fifth on his first appearance at Pau, and will be chasing his first win. Team mate Milos Pavlovic is also on the pace, and will be pushing Kiesa every inch of the way.

Other possibilities for victory include Carlin Motorsport's Takuma Sato and Andrew Kirkaldy of Team Avanti. Sato won at Silverstone in May, and Kirkaldy's re-introduction to the series has so-far culminated with a quickest time in pre-race testing this morning.

Promatecme have disappointed so far this season. Drivers Matt Davies and Andy Priaulx have often languished around the back half of the top ten in qualifying and struggled to trouble the front runners. The team's legendary ability to engineer chassis' apparently has failed to lift them out of other problems.

Of the rest, Fortec are picking up points on a regular basis and seem adept at profiting from others' misfortunes. In the Scholarship class, Gary Paffett may seal his Scholarship class title this weekend if he continues his clean sweep of the division, and his rivals fail to score well. If the 20-year-old can wrap up the class, an early entry into the top class can be expected.

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