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FEBRUARY 11, 2004

Renault's Lopez to join Coloni in Formula 3000

Argentine driver Jose-Maria Lopez, one of the Renault Driver Development team, is to race for Coloni Motorsport in Formula 3000 this year. Lopez, the inaugural Renault V6 Champion last year will be one of four drivers running for the two Coloni teams in the FIA International Formula 3000 series. It is expected that driver line-up will feature Austrians Patrick Friesacher (in his fourth year in the series) and Matthias Lauda, son of triple world champion Niki Lauda. The fourth driver will be Turkey's Can Artem.

It is not expected that either of the Coloni teams will run with Red Bull sponsorship as this appears to be switching to support Arden Motorsport's Vitantonio Liuzzi and Robert Doornbos. The team will also be supported by Komatsu.

The news means that Enrico Toccacello is still looking for a job and the latest suggestion is that he may end up with Enrique Scalabroni's BCN team.

Lopez had his first runs in F1 cars this winter with tests for Minardi and Renault.