Marlboro Masters gives F1 hopefuls their chance

ALTHOUGH the Formula 1 calendar is in a temporary hiatus, the stars of tomorrow are all on parade this weekend in the Marlboro Masters Formula 3 weekend at Zandvoort, Holland.

The event has become a classic, drawing a high-quality entry of teams from all of the European championships, including Britain, Italy, Germany and France. Masters title favorite is the runaway British championship leader Takuma Sato, the Honda protege who is aiming for Formula 1 in 2002.

Sato's main challengers will be his team-mate in the Carlin Motorsport team, the BAR junior squad, Anthony Davidson, who won the first F3 international of the year at Pau. Other challengers include the Jaguar Racing junior team of Australian James Courtney and German Andre Lotterer, former British Formula Ford champion Nicolas Kiesa and the German F3 frontrunner Frank Diefenbacher.

Team boss Trevor Carlin describes his Japanese charge as 'dynamite', and says that: "Taku deserves a Formula 1 drive on merit, not just because of his contacts."

Visitors to Zandvoort will doubtless be impressed - among them the Marlboro backed stars at the top of the motor sport tree. Luca Badoer will demonstrate last year's championship-winning Ferrari F1-2000, Tommi Makinen will be present with his championship leading Mitsubishi World Rally Car and 'Mad' Max Biaggi, Marlboro's man in the 500cc world motorcycle championship.

It is also an opportunity for the new facilities at Zandvoort to be seen in action as the circuit, which staged Dutch Grands Prix from 1953-85, seeks a Formula 1 return.

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