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APRIL 20, 2003

Wirdheim wins Formula 3000 opener

The opening round of the FIA International Formula 3000 Championship was a lively affair with Sweden's Bjorn Wirdheim giving Arden International its first victory of the year despite race-long pressure from rival Patrick Freisacher in Enzo Coloni's Red Bull Junior Team. Third place went to Coloni's other team (Coloni Motorsport) with its lead driver Rodrigo Sperafico, although he was 24 second behind the leading pair. Fourth place went to series debutant Antonio Liuzzi in the second Red Bull Junior Team car, who did an impressive job first time out despite problems of cramp late in the race. He held off Enrico Toccacelo (Super Nova Racing) with much maturity. The top six was completed by Yannick Schroeder (Superfund ISR Charouz) who was followed home by Raffaele Giammaria (Durango) and Australian Rob Nguyen (BCN).

American Townsend Bell made a good impression until punted out of the race by an impatient Giorgio Pantano, who retired as a result. Bell recovered to finish ninth.