AUGUST 12, 1996
Walkinshaw and Peugeot
HAVING lost out on the Mugen Honda deal to Ligier, Tom Walkinshaw has changed his tack in his search for an F1 engine for next season.
It looks increasingly likely that Tom's long-term plans to build his own engines are to be shelved for the moment as he chases after an engine deal which will ensure that the TWR Arrows team is competitive in 1997.
Walkinshaw is known to have had talks with Ford and Yamaha, but in Hungary he was busy talking with Peugeot and Eddie Jordan to see if he can convince Eddie to sell his exclusivity and Peugeot to sell him engines.
This will not be an easy task as Jordan cannot afford to be beaten by a team using the same engine next year and Peugeot need to concentrate all its resources on one team before being sidetracked into supplying V10s for a rival operation.
A deal with Peugeot only makes sense for Walkinshaw if it is for the long-term, unless he can find a manufacturer to back his own engine program in 1998 and beyond.
Tom has a contract with Bridgestone and is currently looking around at the driver market to see who is available. Although Power Horse and Bridgestone are both expected to pour considerable money into the operation, Tom still needs finance to build up the operation. This is good news for Ricardo Rosset who is beginning to look better after a shaky start in F1. Rosset is both talented and can bring sponsorship to the team. Jos Verstappen's position with the team is less clear-cut. Negotiations between Walkinshaw and Verstappen have dragged on for weeks and we hear that Walkinshaw is getting impatient, particularly as Verstappen has had rather too many accidents this year.
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