Birrane blasts Pizzonia

Lola boss Martin Birrane has leapt to the defence of Formula 3000 and the cars his company supplies to the series in light of comments made by new Jaguar driver Antonio Pizzonia last week

Birrane blasts Pizzonia

The Brazilian, who raced for two years in F3000 in 2001/2 scoring one win, slated the cars used in the single chassis formula, claiming they were of no use to aspiring F1 drivers.

Birrane responded by stating that F3000 remains the most proven route to an F1 or Champ Car seat - a fact born out by all of the previous champions, bar Jorg Muller, graduated to a drive in one of the top single seater categories.

"Antonio has shown that even if you are not a regular winner in Formula 3000 you still get noticed in F1 circles," said Birrane. "However, I feel that his recent comments are not suitable for a driver who has been well supported both technically and financially throughout the last two years in F3000. Wrongly blaming his tools after the event is not in keeping with the level of professionalism that is associated with the championship."

Despite producing champions of the quality of Justin Wilson and Sebastien Bourdais in recent years, F3000 has been accused of lacking strength in depth, something that Birrane denies.

"The quality of teams, suppliers and drivers has always been highly regarded in Formula 3000 and in 2003 we expect to see another vintage year," he said. "It was extremely heartening to see recent graduates Mark Webber and Justin Wilson make it in to F1 over the past year. This highlights the fact that raw talent can break through financial hurdles."

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