OCTOBER 1, 2008

Adrian Campos has a plan

Adrian Campos had a fairly mediocre Formula 1 career back in the 1980s with Minardi but he intends to return one day to Grand Prix racing with his own Formula 1 team. The team started 10 years ago to take part in a new Spanish championship called Open Fortuna By Nissan (the predecessor of the modern Renault World Series).

Campos picked Marc Gene as his driver and won the inuagural title. Campos picked a new driver for 1999 and Fernando Alonso won six races and retained the championship for Campos's operation. The team would win the title a third time in 2000 with Antonio Garcia. As the competition improved winning became more difficult and in 2004 Campos decided to concentrate on the Spanish F3 championship, running two two-car teams. This was followed by an entry in GP2 in 2005 and in 2007 the team began winning races and this year won the GP2 team title thanks to the efforts of Vitaly Petrov and Lucas di Grassi. Campos comes from a wealthy background. Way back in the early 1980s he did not bother to buy the best car when he started in Formula 3, he decided instead to build his own and funded the Avidesa project, named after the vast ice cream and frozen chicken empire that was owned by his family. Later he used his connections to get enough sponsorship to buy a drive in F1 and today he has allied himself with another rich and well-connected motor racing figure Alejandro Agag. The two are now taking the next step towards their goal with the announcement that they are building a 40% rolling road wind tunnel and installing a seven-post rig at the team's headquarters in Alzira, near Valencia. The decision comes after the local government suspended its plans to build a 200mph rolling road windtunnel at the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Campos now intends to open this facility to other Spanish teams to save them having to travel out of the country to do such testing. In the longer term he says it is a step towards Formula 1.

In the interim the team is waiting and expanding quietly, running its existing teams and taking on new work, such as the Mexican A1GP team.