Brazilian Formula Three driver Lucas di Grassi has explained that, while he would dearly love to win the SudAm title, he would rather secure a leading seat in the British series for 2004.

Speaking exclusively to formulanews/Crash Brazil, di Grassi admits that the desire to follow in the footsteps of Nelson Piquet Jr - who moved from a successful South American campaign to finish third in the UK series this year - was behind his decision to skip the final three double-header rounds in order to test with Carlin and Hitech in Britain.

di Grassi was the only pilot that had any real chance of preventing Danilo Dirani from taking the SudAm title, but he did not let that affect his decision.

"It was a question of choice," he explained, "My opportunity to run in England coincided with some races here, and I preferred to try and find a seat in the UK - I thought it was more important to find a vacancy that to try and be South American champion. It is an important title, but it means very little to anyone outside the series."

In the last month or so, di Grassi has tested with leading UK teams Carlin Motorsport and Hitech Racing at various venues, including Pembrey, Croft, Donington Park and Silverstone.

"I tested with the main teams in British F3 and they went very well," he said, "I ran with another six or seven drivers, and was competitive. Although we are approaching the end of the year, I expect to be in a good team in the British F3 series next season."

di Grassi, vice-champion in the 2002 Brazilian FRenault series, added that he expects to attract sponsorship to help him seal a deal with a team for 2004 in time to conduct a serious pre-season testing programme.



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