Bell switches from CART with Arden

Champ Car refugee Townsend Bell will race in the FIA F3000 Championship this season, having concluded a deal to drive alongside Bjorn Wirdheim in last year's teams championship-winning squad Arden International

Bell switches from CART with Arden

The 26-year-old American, who was replaced mid-season in the Patrick Racing Champ Car squad by Oriol Servia last year, has signed a two-year deal with the team and will begin testing at Imola in February. Bell clearly sees the move as a stepping stone back into top-flight single-seaters.

"Formula 3000 is the obvious step to grand prix racing," said Bell, "and I am really looking forward to racing on European circuits. This season will be a learning year as all the circuits will be new to me but I am confident that with the new free practice format I will be able to get up to speed quickly."

Arden team boss Christian Horner believes that Bell's experience in flight single-seaters will help to ensure that his team remains competitive in what is a notoriously tough series. "For us it is critical," explained Horner, "after such a successful season last year with Tomas Enge and Wirdheim, that we have a driver who will push Bjorn.

"In Townsend we have a driver with considerable ability whom we firmly believe will achieve this after a very impressive career in the USA. The team is now focussed on repeating and exceeding our 2002 performance."

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