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Midland to test Van Hooydonk at Jerez 16 Nov 2005

Jeffrey van Hooydonk (BEL) has a seat fitting Jeffrey van Hooydonk Seat Fitting, Midland Factory, England. 15 November 2005. World ©  Bumstead/Sutton

Belgian driver Jeffrey van Hooydonk has joined the line-up for Midland’s five-day test in Spain next month, as part of the team’s ongoing effort to evaluate up-and-coming young drivers. Van Hooydonk, 28 and a veteran of German Formula Three and International Formula 3000, will get behind the wheel for a one-day stint on December 8, the second day the session.

"The upcoming test in Jerez is the result of ongoing negotiations between my management, my sponsors and the Midland team since the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim,” explained Van Hooydonk, who had a seat fitting at the Midland factory on Tuesday. “From there, we have been working hard to find a way to organise this test.

“I am happy that we have been in contact for a few months already, as I have been able to work on my physical condition. The circuit in Spain is pretty demanding, with quick corners, so I expect it to be tough on the neck but I think I am fit enough. I have some previous experience driving a Formula One car, as I did a demonstration drive last year with Minardi at Misano, so I know more or less what to expect. I have also quite a lot of experience with single seaters.

“However, it is impossible to compare a Formula One car with any other category of racing car. I expect it to be a hard but exciting day. I am very excited to be given this opportunity, especially as many Belgian fans are eagerly awaiting another Belgian driver in F1. I will definitively give my best and then have to wait and see what the future will bring."

Commenting on the decision to test Van Hooydonk, Midland MF1 Racing’s managing director, Colin Kolles, stated: "I have known Jeffrey van Hooydonk since he was competing in Formula Renault and Formula Three; two Championships in which he did a good job. Therefore, we are very pleased to give him the opportunity to prove his skills and potential."

Also scheduled to test for Midland at Jerez are 2005 World Series Renault driver, Markus Winkelhock, and Italian GT star Thomas Biagi, as well as confirmed 2006 race driver Christijan Albers and third driver Nicky Pastorelli.