F3000 round-up

The European Racing Formula 3000 team and the Arrows Grand Prix squad could part after a dispute between the two concerns. European, which represents Arrows in the FIA F3000 championship, reportedly objected to driver Mark Webber being refused a test in the F1 team's car

F3000 round-up

Webber was signed on a joint deal last year as European's F3000 driver and Arrows' test driver. However, the Australian refused to sign a contract with Arrows boss Tom Walkinshaw, which included an option on his services as test driver in 2001. Webber, who has won a race in this year's F3000 series, and briefly led the championship, is still holding out for a race seat in F1 next year.

As a result of refusing to sign, Webber was barred from the test - a move which raised the ire of European boss Paul Stoddart.

"Mark not driving last week was the final straw," said Stoddart, who met Walkinshaw on Wednesday to try and effect a solution. "I don't think there is a way back, but it all depends on what he has to offer".

Webber would have driven the 2000 season car for the first time at Silverstone last week.

F3000 veteran Marc Goosens will make a return to the series replacing Fabrice Walfisch at Astromega. The Frenchman had performed badly, persistently blaming his race car chassis. When a different chassis was sourced for the Magny Cours round, and no improvement was forthcoming, team and driver spilt. "The relationship between him and the team has broken down," said team boss Sam Boyle. "It is better for him to try with someone else." Goosens has won two races for Astromega in the course of a lengthy F3000 career.

Dino Morelli will drive in the FIA F3000 series for the first time since his horrific, leg-breaking shunt at the Nurburgring in 1997. The Ulsterman will replace Marc Hynes at WRT due to a successful test, after the latter was unable to raise the funds to continue. Team boss Gabriele Rafanelli claimed "we need someone to be in the points if we are to retain our place in the series." Morelli had been performing well with the DKS team in 1997, until the Nurburgring crash in July which put him out for the rest of the season. Morelli has not raced regularly since, though he has made appearances in the Italian F3000 series this year. "He's a quick guy and he proved himself in the test," said Rafanelli.

The inaugural F3000 Autumn Cup looks set to attract a bumper grid this year, with four teams already confirmed. The British-based mini-series will start at Brands Hatch on September 9th. So far, Kid Jensen Racing, Red Bull Junior, mySAP.com (McLaren Jr) and Fortec have pledged their support to the series, with more teams displaying interest. "It is something to do during the winter, and gives us a chance to attract some different drivers with an eye to next year's F3000 International championship," said McLaren Jr boss David Brown.

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