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Durango Equipe confirms F1 plans

IVONE PINTON's little-known and largely unsuccessful Formula 3000 team - Durango Equipe - says it will be entering F1 in 1997.

The team announced its plans for 1997 in December last year but these were not taken very seriously, despite the fact that 44-year-old Pinton revealed drawings and windtunnel models of a car he said would be ready to test by June this year.

Pinton says that the chassis is being built by the French composite specialists SNPE, which built the Simtek chassis in 1994.

The team shows no evidence of being competitive enough to win in F3000, but clearly has some money because it has funded the career of driver Christian Pescatori for the last two seasons. Pescatori beat Giancarlo Fisichella to the 1993 Italian Formula 3 Championship before joining Durango in 1994. The alliance produced only one point in 1994 but last year Pescatori finished ninth in the International F3000 series, thanks largely to third place at Enna-Pergusa.

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