The Lola-Dome F106/03 will return to British Formula Three race action at Donington Park this weekend, marking its first competitive appearance in the series since May.

The car, which has won five races so far in Japan and Italy during its first year of competition, proved less favourable in the highly-competitive British Championship, but will return for a second bite in the hands of the experienced Alan Docking Racing.

Driving the car this weekend will be Brazilian Joao Paulo de Oliveira, who recently became the German F3 Cup champion driving for the JB Motorsport team. The 21-year old has driven in European F3 competition since 2001 and first drove for last year's British F3 champion team - Alan Docking Racing - at the Marlboro Masters International race at Zandvoort last month.

de Oliveira got his first taste of the F106/03, and of the Donington track, during the FOTA test yesterday [Wednesday], and Lola Cars' F3 project co-ordinator, Adam Airey - who has spearheaded the continuing development of the chassis during the summer months - commented that the comeback had advantages for more than just the Brazilian ace.

"It gives a chance to evaluate all the developments we have been working on during the last couple of months," he explained, "It is a good opportunity to continue the progression of the car in a competitive environment and give us a springboard in to a renewed attack in 2004."

The Lola engineering team has recently undertaken numerous test runs with 2002 British F3 champion Robbie Kerr, who expressed a favourable opinion on the chassis leading up to the races at Donington this weekend.

"In terms of handling, the car is very impressive and the changes seemed to improve the consistency a great deal, particularly on new tyres," said Kerr, after his last test in the car at Silverstone two weeks ago.

In addition to the work on the track, Lola has also been testing many new development parts which have been introduced to the car since undertaking an aerodynamic programme at its 50 per cent scale windtunnel in Huntingdon. The development programme has also been working hand-in-hand with Dome Cars' similar facility at Kyoto in Japan.

The F106/03 will not only be in action at Donington this weekend. The design will also race at Varano in Italy with Coloni Motorsport, and at Sugo in Japan with the Dome Mugen and Now Motorsports teams. Coloni's Christian Montanari currently lies joint second in the Italian points table, and will be aiming for Lola-Dome's first title success with three races remaining.

 

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