The Super Nova F3000 team has unofficially chosen Sebastien Bourdais and Tiago Monteiro to drive its Lola B2/50s in this year's FIA championship.

Team boss David Sears has apparently opted for the veteran-rookie pairing on the grounds of sponsorship, meaning that talented Italian Giorgio Pantano has been cast adrift at a very late stage in the 'silly season.

Bourdais, now a proven race winner in F3000 following his 2001 season win at Silverstone, was rumoured to be joining the Sears camp as long ago as the end of last year, but both Monteiro and Pantano were drafted into the equation when winter testing began in earnest.

The three drivers then had to undergo a 'shootout' to decide which two would take the nominated seats, and caused Sears to twice delay his decision after matching each other in testing. Only Monteiro, with his lack of experience in both F3000 and at the various test tracks was allowed any leeway in his performances, and appears to have benefited over Pantano by dint of his superior backing.

A full announcement is expected from the team ahead of next week's test at Imola.

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