Honda website
Honda website

FEBRUARY 12, 1996

...and Trulli to race in Benetton F3 Junior Team

BENETTON also announced plans to run up-and-coming Italian star Jarno Trulli in a "Benetton Junior Team" in the German Formula 3 Championship. The team will not actually be run by Benetton but rather by the Kaufmann Motor Service team, which won the 1995 German F3 title with driver Norberto Fontana. This is run by Swiss Hans-Peter Kaufmann, a regular in German F3 himself in the mid-1980s.

Twenty-one-year-old Trulli is very highly-rated. He was the Formula K World Karting Champion in 1991 in his first season at international level - he was just 17 - and followed up with a string of other international successes as the number one factory driver for the Tony Kart company. He dominated Formula Super A in 1994, winning the European and American titles and the Karting World Cup, but retired from the World Championship race in Argentina with mechanical trouble.

He moved into German F3 last year with a year-old KMS-run Dallara-Opel and did so well that in August the team bought a 1995 car, and he went on to win the final two races of the year and finish fourth in the championship at his first attempt. He went on to finish second at Macau to Michael Schumacher's younger brother Ralf.

Trulli's talent was first spotted by Sauber - which was in negotiation with the Italian - but Benetton's offer to back him in F3 was a better offer than Sauber could match.