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Minardi test for British hopeful

Dillon Battistini

British hopeful Dillon Battistini will make his ChampCar World Series test debut next week after sealing a deal with Minardi USA.

Battistini, who will turn 30 on the day of the test, is a virtual unknown to British race fans, but is the current Asia-Pacific Formula Three champion and has firmed up a try-out for Paul Stoddart's outfit at Sebring in Florida.

"After a few years in F3, I am looking to progress to something different for next season so I am excited about the potential that this test has for my career," said Battistini, who spent the first few years of his racing life in the British Caterham championship.

"This is a very exciting opportunity for me. Champ Car is obviously a step up from what I have been doing for the last couple of seasons but, despite my successes in F3, I didn't expect to be given the chance to test a DP01 Champ Car quite so soon.

"I am very grateful to my backers and Asian Formula 3 for giving me the chance to run at Sebring and I hope to do a good job for them in return for their faith in me."

Also testing for Minardi is Venezuelan driver Ernesto Viso, 22. The former British Formula Three and GP2 Series race-winner did not have a full-time drive this year.

And when he did compete, at the Magny-Cours GP2 round, he made headlines by making a miracle escape from a crash that could have killed him as his head missed the top of a concrete retaining wall by just a foot while he was barrel-rolling along it.

Now fully recovered from that accident, he is looking for a switch to ChampCar in 2008.

"I'm very excited for this test and am looking forward to working with everyone at Minardi Team USA, " said Viso.

"I am sure it will be a very productive test and we can then evaluate our options for next year. I think it would be a positive move for me and my career

Jamie O'Leary / Eurosport

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