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JUNE 7, 2003

All eyes on Pau

There is little topline racing in Europe this week with the F1 teams headed out to Canada and the sportscar world getting ready for the Le Mans 24 Hours next weekend and so the spotlight falls on Pau where the Formula 3 Euroseries cars will dispute the 63rd Grand Prix de Pau on the streets of the Bearnais city, in the shadow of the Pyrenees in the south-west of France. There will be two Euroseries races, the main event being on Monday, a national holiday in France.

The event is one where a driver can make a big difference and the list of Pau Grand Prix winners is an impressive one, including Tazio Nuvolari, Jean-Pierre Wimille, Juan Manuel Fangio, Alberto Ascari, Jean Behra, Jack Brabham, Jim Clark (four times), Jochen Rindt, Rene Arnoux, Jean Alesi, Gil de Ferran and Juan-Pablo Montoya.

The F3 Euroseries has been dominated to date by Australia's Ryan Briscoe who has won three of the four races in his Prema Powerteam Dallara but there is a full entry of 30 cars and some of the French drivers will have the benefit of previous experience on the streets of Pau, a track which is as taxing as Monaco, allowing no room for error. The biggest challenge is likely to come from Olivier Pla who raced in F3 at Pau last year. Other to have experienced the streets of Pau include Bernhard Auinger and Robert Doornbos both frontrunners this year but watch out also for the fast youngsters, notably Nico Rosberg (Team Rosberg). British interest in the event will be supplied by ASM which has entered a third car for British series racer Jamie Green.