Saelens the man for Minardi F3000

EXPERIENCED Formula 3000 runner David Saelens has been announced as the second driver for European Minardi's F3000 assault this season.

The Belgian scored three podiums for Super Nova last season, and now joins the Minardi team for his third season in the category.

"I am delighted to have concluded a deal to driver for Paul Stoddart's European Minardi F3000 team," said Saelens. "They are very professional in their approach, so there is the potential to aim for podium finished from the start of the season."

Saelens will join Andrea Piccini at the F3000 team for 2001, and is excited at the prospects of being linked with Minardi.

"The direct link with the European Minardi F1 team and the possibilities that might offer in the future is another very positive element," said the excited 25-year-old. "It is a great package and I intend to take full advantage of it."

A European Minardi spokesman said there are no plans for Saelen to test a Formula One car as yet.

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