A new name entered the frame for a seat with FIA F3000 champions Nordic Racing this week, after Zsolt Baumgartner made people sit up and take notice at the latest series test.

Whilst most onlookers in Barcelona concentrated on the performance of veteran Warren Hughes in the latest Lola B2/50, Baumgartner, in one of the 2001-spec cars set about whittling away at his own targets.

Late in the afternoon of the first day, the young Hungarian set a time of 1min 32.40secs, just two-tenths off the mark set by reigning champion Justin Wilson at the Circuit de Catalunya less than a year ago. It was also good enough to secure second fastest time of the day in front of Ricardo Sperafico and Tomas Scheckter.

"Zsolt shattered this year's pole time by more than one second, and finished two-tenths short of Nordic's best time, which was set by Justin last winter," commented team manager Chris Mower, "Needless to say, he surprised us!"

On day two, Baumgartner was right on the pace in the morning until weather conditions made it difficult to get a balance until later that afternoon. His best time on the day was good enough to secure third spot, brought the test to a successful conclusion.

"As you can see by the times, Zsolt did an excellent job and we are keen to test him during the post-season's first official test at Estoril," Mower continued.

Baumgartner has moved firmly into the frame for the team's line-up, along with Tomas Enge, Sebastien Bourdais and Jaroslav Janis.