Positive Formula 3000 test for Carlo in Spain25-01-07
On the Spanish circuit of Albacete Carlo van Dam made a successful debut in a Formula 3000 car yesterday. The S-T-A-R-T driver, who is orientating on the next important step in his racing career, drove a Pro Motorsport car and did a decent job. This year the Italian team will participate in the ‘International Formula Masters’, a new international racing series that will race at the same tracks at the FIA WTCC and will have its races broadcasted live on Eurosport. The Dutchman was invited by the team with a view to their participation in this new series. Because the new cars will be delivered by chassis builder Tatuus in March, this test was carried out in one the teams Formula 3000 cars.
Under cold weather conditions (only 4 degrees Celsius) Carlo began this single day of testing. The team, which is being led by 2006 WTCC Alfa Romeo-driver Salvatore Tavano, tested two Italian drivers, Marcello Puglisi and Davide di Benedetto, in the last couple of days. During the last two seasons the team raced in the Formula 3000 Masters. They won the championship in 2005 and finished second last season. During this day the main focus of the test was getting to know the car and the team. Van Dam drove a Lola chassis B99/50 (from 1999), powered by a Zytec engine (3 litre V8, 460bhp).
Because it had been freezing at night, Carlo and the team had to wait until the ice had melted. At eleven o’clock Van Dam initiated the test. He had no problem adapting to the car and after some installation laps his lap times began to drop. After just thirty laps the team put new Avon-tyres on the car. In only his second lap on the new tyres Van Dam set a time of 1:20.0. This time was much quicker than the other drivers did during the previous days, while both of them had done a full season in the car. Unfortunately Carlo had to abandon the fast run after a mechanical glitch. Just after Van Dam entered the pit lane the team owner had seen ‘enough’ of the qualities of the 20-year old driver and the team called it a day.
CARLO VAN DAM: “This was a short, but powerful test. This type of Formula 3000 car has been around for a while, and you can notice that. It only has five gears, a low aerodynamic grip and only a few electronic driver aids. It was quite some time ago that I had to use a clutch while shifting down. The powerful engine compensates it all though, as it means you are constantly trying to keep this ‘unguided missile’ on the track. I really enjoyed driving this car. My lap times were very good, compared to the amount of kilometres I did in the car. The team has a real professional approach, especially regarding the new International Formula Masters series. I would like to thank Salvatore Tavano and his entire crew for inviting me for this test and having this confidence in me.”