Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Formula 3000 is a type of formula racing.
In 1985, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) created the Formula 3000 championship to become the final preparatory step for drivers hoping to enter the Formula One championship. Formula 3000 replaced Formula Two, and was so named because the engines used initially were 3.0L (3000cc) Cosworth DFV engines made obsolete by the change of Formula One from the 3.0L normally aspirated engines around this time.
The series remained unchanged for about a decade, but increasing costs meant the popularity of the series was waning by the mid 1990s.
In 1996, new rules were introduced. These introduced a single engine (a detuned Judd V-8 engine, badged as a Zytek) and chassis (Lola), to go along with tyre standarization (Avon) introduced a number of years earlier. The following year the calendar was combined with that of Formula One, so the series became support races for the Grand Prix. These measures decreased costs and popularity grew. In 2000, the series was restricted to 15 teams of two cars each.
However, by 2002 expenses were once more very high and the number of entries rapidly dwindled. Formula 3000 was experiencing tough competition with cheaper formulae, such as European F3000 (using ex-FIA Lola B2/99 chassis) and Formula Nissan (also known as Telefonica World Series or Superfund World Series), as well as the North American CART series. While drivers from these series such as Juan Pablo Montoya (CART), Cristiano da Matta (CART), and Felipe Massa (EF3000) found top rides in Formula One, the F3000 drivers seemed to have inordinate difficulty in moving onwards. By the end of 2003, car counts had fallen to new lows.
Over the years, the following drivers have become champion:
- 1985 Christian Danner (BS Automotive March-Cosworth), West Germany
- 1986 Ivan Capelli (Genoa March-Cosworth), Italy
- 1987 Stefano Modena (Onyx March-Cosworth), Italy
- 1988 Roberto Moreno (Bromley Reynard-Cosworth), Brazil
- 1989 Jean Alesi (Eddie Jordan Racing Reynard-Cosworth), France
- 1990 Erik Comas (DAMS Lola-Mugen), France
- 1991 Christian Fittipaldi (Pacific Racing Reynard-Mugen), Brazil
- 1992 Luca Badoer (Crypton Reynard-Cosworth), Italy
- 1993 Olivier Panis (DAMS Reynard-Cosworth), France
- 1994 Jean-Christophe Boullion (DAMS Reynard-Cosworth), France
- 1995 Vincenzo Sospiri (Super Nova Racing Reynard-Cosworth), Italy
- 1996 Jorg Müller (RSM Marko Lola-Zytek ), Germany
- 1997 Ricardo Zonta (Super Nova Racing Lola-Zytek ), Brazil
- 1998 Juan Pablo Montoya (Super Nova Racing Lola-Zytek ), Colombia
- 1999 Nick Heidfeld (West Competition Lola-Zytek ), Germany
- 2000 Bruno Junqueira (Petrobras Lola-Zytek ), Brazil
- 2001 Justin Wilson (Nordic Racing Lola-Zytek ), United Kingdom
- 2002 Sebastien Bourdais (Super Nova Racing Lola-Zytek ), France
- 2003 Björn Wirdheim (Arden Lola-Zytek ), Sweden
- 2004 Vitantonio Liuzzi (Arden Lola-Zytek ), Italy
Three past F3000 champions have never appeared in an F1 race: Bourdais and Junqueira both race in Champ Cars, Muller races touring cars. A fourth champion, Sospiri, has attempted to qualify for a race and failed to make it, having raced for a highly unprepared team with poor equipment. It is uncertain at the moment where Wirdheim will race in 2005.
Three of them have won a F1 Grand Prix: Alesi, Panis and Montoya (who also won the Indy 500 once). No Formula 3000 champion has ever become Formula One World Driving Champion.
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