Bernoldi in bullish form

Enrique Bernoldi carried on where he had left off in Barcelona last week by dominating the first day of official Formula 3000 testing at Estoril on Tuesday. The Brazilian posted a fastest lap 0.5s quicker than second-placed Darren Manning

Bernoldi in bullish form

Bernoldi, who spent a lacklustre season in F3000, was the 2000 tester for the Sauber Formula 1 team. He was outshone at a recent test by Finland's Kimi Raikkonen, who is now set to drive for the Swiss squad in 2001. But the unlucky Brazilian has put Raikkonen and two hapless F3000 seasons behind him to dominate winter testing so far.

Darren Manning continued to show his potential for next year by taking second spot in his Arden Lola, ahead of Frenchman Stephane Bourdais in third for the Prost Junior team.

The drivers gingerly left the pitlane during the morning session as the Portuguese circuit was still wet from overnight rain. But with a drying track for the afternoon session, conditions were much quicker and all 26 drivers bar Kristian Kolby and Patrick Freisacher improved their times.

Freisacher, who took two victories in German Formula 3 this year, ran alongside Bernoldi in the second Red Bull car. Despite managing only ninth spot at Barcelona last week, the Austrian's time, set on a damp track in the morning session, was good enough for fourth place come the end of the day.

Hockenheim winner, Tomas Enge is out of a drive for 2001 following the withdrawal of the McLaren Junior team, but the Czechoslovakian again ran with the Nordic team, finishing the day in fifth place.

Christijan Albers took sixth spot, just 0.033s ahead of French Formula 3 champion Jonathan Cochet, who was driving for Super Nova alongside former Kid Jensen Racing pedaller Bas Leinders. The Belgian was hampered by the poor conditions and finished the day in eighth.

"Bas impressed the team with his technical feedback and thoroughly enjoyed his test," said Super Nova team boss David Sears. "He will run again tomorrow [Wednesday] along with Buddy (Rice)."

Toyota Atlantic champion Rice gets his first run in an F3000 car on Wednesday courtesy of Super Nova. The young American was in line to drive for Chip Ganssi in Champ Cars, but the eponymous team owner is known to want Rice to spend at least one or two seasons racing in Europe.


E Bernoldi Red Bull Junior 1m28.890s
D Manning Arden 1m29.383s
S Bourdais Gauloises Formula 1m29.394s
P Freisacher Red Bull Junior 1m29.618s
T Enge Nordic Racing 1m29.650s
C Albers European Arrows 1m29.897s
J Cochet Super Nova 1m29.990s
B Leinders Super Nova 1m30.023
G Pantano Team Astromega 1m30.097s
J Wilson Nordic Racing 1m30.210s

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