JANUARY 17, 2002
Toyota test driver signs for Nordic Formula 3000 team
RYAN BRISCOE, the Toyota Motorsport test driver and Australia's next rising star, has signed to drive for the Coca-Cola Nordic Racing team in the International Formula 3000 series. The news has yet to be officially confirmed but it makes sense as Toyota is keen to bring on the 20-year-old Sydneysider, who has been racing in recent years in Italy, initially in karts and last year in Formula Renault. He won the Italian title and made his Formula 3 debut and had been expected to race in the German Formula 3 series this year but the fickle nature of Formula 3 and the need for a competitive engine appears to have decided Briscoe to jump straight to F3000 where driving talent is rather more visible.
Briscoe appears to be trying to emulate his predecessor as Italian Formula Renault Champion Felipe Massa, who spent one year in Formula 3000 before signing for Sauber. The Brazilian youngster is believed to be under a long-term Ferrari option.
Briscoe did his first F1 test at the end of last year and is expected to do a lot of development work this year, helping out Mika Salo and Alan McNish.