Red Bull Juniors continue to dominate

The Red Bull Junior Team heads into the New Year as the team to beat after dominating the final day of this year's official Formula 3000 test at Estoril on Thursday

Red Bull Juniors continue to dominate

After topping the time-sheets at Barcelona last week, Sauber test driver Enrique Bernoldi has been untouchable on both days of testing at the Portuguese track.

German Formula 3 ace Patrick Freisacher joined Bernoldi at the sharp end, netting third place with a time 0.110s shy of second-placed Tomas Enge. Freisacher, who won two German F3 races this year with Bertram Schafer Racing, has signed to drive for the Red Bull Junior F3000 outfit next year.

"To win races would depend on what happens to the experienced guys," said Red Bull team boss Helmut Marko, "but Freisacher should score points, maybe even podiums. He was quicker than David Saelens in Barcelona, so we have high hopes."

Formula Nissan champion Antonio Garcia also impressed by setting the 11th fastest time in only his second run in an F3000 car. The Spaniard propped up the bottom of the time sheets in Barcelona, but was just shy of a top ten spot after taking over Bernoldi's car on Wednesday morning. He will test for the Minardi Formula 1 team as part of the prize for taking the Formula Nissan title.

Darren Manning continued his good run of form with the Arden team and, despite suffering gear selection problems, the Yorkshireman set the fourth fastest time, closely followed by fellow Brit Justin Wilson. The 1998 Formula Palmer Audi champ has re-signed for the Nordic team for next year and will be partnered by erstwhile McLaren Junior driver Enge.

Buddy Rice, who had his first run in an F3000 car with Super Nova, made a slow start in order to adjust to the lower downforce Lola. Rice found the car "a bit loose at the back end" compared to the Swift which took him to the Toyota Atlantic title. The 24-year-old finished the day 19th fastest.

"There's a bit of a power difference to the cars that I have been driving in the States," said Rice. "We had a brake problem in the morning so I did not use any new tyres in the morning session, but once that was sorted out the car felt much better."

Save for a selection of last year's drivers and one or two hot properties, the majority of hopefuls must now wait while the 2001 driver market falls into place. Signings for next year will gather pace once the major teams, such as Super Nova and Petrobras Jr, confirm their line-ups.

"The drivers will be waiting anxiously in the next few days, along with many others, while Super Nova Racing decides on its dream team for 2001," said its team boss David Sears.


E Bernoldi Red Bull Junior 1m29.092s
T Enge Nordic 1m29.173s
P Freisacher Red Bull Junior 1m29.283s
D Manning Arden 1m29.322s
J Wilson Nordic 1m29.377s
S Bourdais Gauloises Formula 1m29.463s
M Goosens KTR 1m29.614s
C Albers European Arrows 1m29.670s
B Leinders Super Nova 1ms30.267
G Bruni Coloni 1m30.066s
A Garcia Red Bull Junior 1m30.142s
K Kolby DAMS 1m30.213s
J C Ravier Petrobras Jr 1m30.269s
J Van Hooydonk Coloni 1m30.321s
G Varano Gauloises Formula 1m30.357s
A Lotterer Astromega 1m30.365s
S Mucke Coloni 1m30.462s
V Maslov Arden 1m30.504s
B Rice Super Nova 1m30.733s
J Cochet Kid Jensen Racing 1m30.803s
W Hughes Arden 1m30.888s
G Burlotti Coloni 1m30.913s
D Faulkner Kid Jensen Racing 1m30.969s
J Keen Astromega 1m31.092s
B Jouanny DAMS 1m31.419s
A Piedade Petrobras Jr 1m31.577s
G Giandomenico Fortec 1m31.722s
A Scheld Fortec 1m32.617s
N Filliberti Astromega 1m32.816s

shares
comments
Bernoldi in bullish form
Previous article

Bernoldi in bullish form

Next article

Bernoldi commited to Red Bull

Bernoldi commited to Red Bull
The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause Plus

The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause

Track limits are the problem that motorsport doesn't seem to be able to rid itself of. But the use of so-called 'sausage kerbs' as a deterrent has in several instances only served to worsen the problem, and a growing number of voices want to see action taken

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2022
The on-form F1 protege carrying America's hopes on his shoulders Plus

The on-form F1 protege carrying America's hopes on his shoulders

Two feature race wins in as many rounds have helped Logan Sargeant to emerge as the closest challenger to runaway Formula 2 points leader Felipe Drugovich. The Williams F1 junior couldn't have timed his rise better, with interest in grand prix racing on the rise in his US homeland, and he could be his country's best shot at getting a driver on the grid for the first time since 2015

FIA F2
Jul 16, 2022
What racing in Australia means for the future of F1's junior series Plus

What racing in Australia means for the future of F1's junior series

The announcement that FIA Formula 2 and 3 would race alongside the Australian Grand Prix from 2023 came as a surprise, not only to fans but to the series’ teams too. But with Formula 1’s boom in popularity bringing more fans to the championships, team principals are relishing the opportunity

FIA F2
Jun 28, 2022
The other Doohan charting his way to motorsport success Plus

The other Doohan charting his way to motorsport success

Heading into FIA Formula 2 this season, there was a lot of pressure on Jack Doohan. The 2021 F3 runner-up joined a new team for his next challenge, as well as signing up to the Alpine Academy. He told Autosport how he’s tackling the step up - with some help from his motorcycle legend father

FIA F2
Jun 16, 2022
The Brazilian F2 driver hoping to return his country to motorsport's top tier Plus

The Brazilian F2 driver hoping to return his country to motorsport's top tier

With a chaotic but “pretty much perfect” FIA Formula 2 weekend in Saudi Arabia behind him, Felipe Drugovich now leads the drivers’ standings in his third crack at the series. The Brazilian driver explains how he's improved amid some difficult years, and shares his dreams of ending his nation's absence from the F1 grid

FIA F2
Apr 1, 2022
The Red Bull junior aiming to emulate Piastri in F2 Plus

The Red Bull junior aiming to emulate Piastri in F2

Norwegian talent Dennis Hauger has a tough act to follow in Oscar Piastri’s footsteps on his graduation to F2 as the reigning F3 champion with Prema. Here’s what he makes of the task ahead of him

FIA F2
Mar 16, 2022
The other Mercedes F1 young gun facing a big 2022 Plus

The other Mercedes F1 young gun facing a big 2022

With a disappointing 2021 season behind him, Frederik Vesti makes the move up to FIA Formula 2 with a reinvigorated sense of determination. Could this finally be the breakthrough year for the talented Mercedes junior?

FIA F2
Mar 14, 2022
Ranking the 10 best drivers of an F1 junior series stalwart Plus

Ranking the 10 best drivers of an F1 junior series stalwart

DAMS has been one of the most prolific teams below Formula 1 since its foundation in 1989, launching 32 drivers into grand prix racing. Following the team's sale to ex-F1 racer Charles Pic, formally closing the book on the ownership of the Driot family, Autosport picks out its 10 best drivers during their spell with the team

FIA F2
Feb 27, 2022