Rising single-seater star Augusto Farfus has now appeared on the touring car radar, following an invitation to test last year's HWA Mercedes Vodafone works car at
Hockenheim yesterday.

The Brazilian, still only 19 years old, has won three of the six European F3000 races held so far in 2003, and has a clear lead in the championship with three rounds remaining. He was invited to run at the test, staged on the shorter Hockenheim layout, alongside multiple DTM champion Bernd Schneider and other members of the current championship line-up, and did well despite his lack of tin-top experience.

"It was a great opportunity for Augusto to be able to drive in an official Mercedes test with all the other top drivers," commented Adriano Morini, the owner of the Draco F3000 team that runs the Brazilian, and who also doubles as Farfus' manager, "I have the feeling that Augusto impressed HWA manager Hans-J?rgen Mattheis with his excellent technical feed back, even though it took some time for him to get used to the new technology that we do not use in the F3000 single-seaters."

Farfus has attempted to broaden his horizons this year, fitting in an outing with the JMB Giesse Ferrari team at Daytona in February before returning to Europe to concentrate on his F3000 aspirations. The DTM run provided another alternative to the young Brazilian and, while he is not about to give up on his F1 dreams, he admitted that he would consider the series as an alternative in the future.

"It was a long and useful experience for me as a driver." he reported, "Overall, the test went well - I was very surprised that the car was so easy to drive, well-balanced, and easy to understand. However, it has been a long and hot day. Most of the time the temperature on the Hockenheim track was above 30 degrees, and I drove 111 laps during the day.

"I hope that this test will enable the Mercedes works team and Hans Jurgen Mattheis to keep a door open for me in the future. I would like very much to continue making an effort to discover the full power of the 2002 car, and be given the chance to race some more in order to fully understand the potential of the car too. The championship looks incredibly interesting and challenging, with a lot of top drivers."

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