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Leinders starts his own team

Frustrated in his efforts to break into Formula 1, Belgium's Bas Leinders, Minardi's test and reserve driver in 2004, has decided expand his horizons and has established the Bas Leinders Junior Racing Team, which will enter cars in the Formula 3 Euroseries in 2006 and has negotiated a deal with HWM for the supply of its Mercedes-Benz engines, which are currently dominant in F3 in Europe. The 30-year-old Belgium says that this is not the end of his own racing career and that he working to get a Champ Car drive for next season but it is something he wanted to do.

"I have been playing with the idea to start a team for a couple of years now, to help young Belgian drivers and give them more chances to get into Formula 1," he says. "Now I have the perfect opportunity to do all this."

The team has already signed up 17-year-old Michael Herck for next year.

The Monaco-based Belgo-Romanian started racing in 2004 in Spain and Italy and enjoyed some success in Spain and Italy. He moved to Formula 3 this year but has had only limited racing in his father's Jama Investments team.