Last year's British Formula Three champion Robbie Kerr will make a surprise return to the series at next weekend's Brands Hatch finale, renewing his successful relationship with the Alan Docking Racing squad to continue the development of the Lola-Dome F106/03 chassis.

Having failed to realise the budget necessary to continue his climb up the racing ladder, the 23-year old will be racing for the first time since the British Grand Prix Porsche Supercup support race in July, but has kept himself busy over the summer months by conducting vital work on the Lola-Dome in his role as test and development driver.

Kerr signalled his intentions for the one-off appearance by running in Wednesday's test at Snetterton, where he completed 50 laps and expressed his satisfaction with progress made at the Norfolk venue. It was his first official FOTA test with the F106/03 after a succession of private development runs at Pembrey and Silverstone.

"Despite losing some time during the day, I am looking forward to racing next weekend at Brands to further develop the car," Kerr reported, "So far, it has been interesting developing such a relatively new car, and it will be good to return to the Brands Grand Prix track, where I won last season."

Allied to the work that is ongoing at both the Lola and Dome wind tunnels, Kerr has had valuable input in to the evolution of the latest spec F106/03 that will race at the Brands double-header next weekend.

"A driver of Robbie's quality obviously enhances the development of a new car, and we are thrilled that he has decided to race it next weekend, giving us much needed continuity after his recent tests in the car," commented project manager Adam Airey, "So far, he has shown that he is a great asset to the project, and we believe that, together, we can make real progress whilst also having an eye on preparations on the 2004 car."

Next year's updated Lola-Dome F3 car is currently being evaluated by both companies' design teams before embarking on a second year of competition. So far in 2003 there have been five victories, with the Coloni Motorsport squad in Italy and the Team Mugen outfit in Japan coming out on top of their Dallara-mounted rivals.

Lola Cars International MD Rupert Manwaring admitted that, even though Kerr's racing activities have been few and far between this year, the British youngster had potential.

"Everyone is really looking forward to Brands Hatch next weekend with Robbie driving the car," he said, "The fact that he has recently had his first Champ Car test in a Lola emphasises the importance that we have in developing young talent throughout the single-seater ranks."

Kerr's work with Lola led to him receiving a surprise outing with the Patrick Racing squad at last week's Sebring test, and allowed the Briton to create a favourable impression stateside.

"It was a great experience to sample the Lola Champ Car for the first time last week," Kerr commented, "Despite not having many laps, it has whetted my appetite for more tests in the near future, and is another possible route for my career."

The American outing completed an impressive season of Lola rides for Kerr, as he drove the B2/50 F3000 car earlier this year at Imola and then completed the full compliment of the marque's single-seaters by testing the Satoru Nakajima-run B3/51 Formula Nippon car.

 

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