Manning tops times at end-of-season testing

Unofficial Formula 3000 testing at Jerez finished yesterday (Wednesday) with Yorkshireman Darren Manning setting the pace on all three days

Manning tops times at end-of-season testing

A selection of teams made their way to the southern Spain circuit to use up the last of the mileage on their Zytek control engines and evaluate potential drivers for the 2001 season.

Manning finished 10th in this year's FIA International F3000 Championship and scored all 10 of the Arden team's points. The 25-year-old has not been confirmed with the Arden team for next year, but it is likely he will be retained.

Manning's competition for the top spot on the Jerez time sheets was a collection of F3000 hopefuls for next year, plus back-of-the grid runners from this season Tomas Scheld and Manning's Arden team mate Victor Maslov.

In spite of this, Manning ran faultlessly throughout the three days and was consistently more than half a second quicker than the rest of the field.

"It was great to get some sensible testing done in good weather," he said. "We worked through a great deal of set up work and learnt a lot about the car. It was pleasing to set the fastest times."

'Best of the rest' was Peter Sundberg driving for Coloni Motorsport. Last year's Italian Formula 3 champion put in a time of 1m33.604s, just half a second behind Manning while German F3 frontrunner Stefan Mucke took third spot driving for the Super Nova team.

McLaren Junior driver and F3000 race-winner Tomas Enge was testing for the Nordic team with a view to a drive with the Norfolk-based squad for 2001. It is unsure whether the McLaren Junior team will compete next year and McLaren boss Ron Dennis has given the project a '60-40 per cent' chance against.

Testing continues next week at the Estoril circuit in Portugal.


Manning Arden 1m33.110s
Sundberg Coloni 1m33.604s
Mucke Super Nova 1m34.129s
Varano Petrobras 1m34.263s
Tachikawa Super Nova 1m34.378s
Bruni Fortec 1m34.378s
Enge Nordic 1m34.463s
Meira Petrobras 1m34.494s
Hill KJR 1m34.707s
Scheld Fortec 1m34.887s
de Oliveira Petrobras 1m35.019s
Maslov Arden 1m35.082s
Piccini Coloni 1m35.353s
Altuna Nordic 1m35.447s
Villamil Coloni 1m35.699s
Camathias KJR 1m36.235s

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