DECEMBER 8, 1997
...as British American Racing is born
BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO's racing team was finally announced in London last week - but the launch was far from revealing. As expected the team involves BAT, Reynard Racing Cars and Craig Pollock, who will act as the front man for the organization. The three parties denied that anyone else was involved but there remains speculation that some of the shares will eventually belong to Jacques Villeneuve.
BAT boss Martin Broughton is chairman of the BAR board which includes managing director Pollock, technical director Adrian Reynard, commercial director Rick Gorne and corporate director Julian Jakobi.
Broughton said that BAT owned 50% of the company. The company records reveal only that British American Racing Ltd. and British American Racing (Holdings) Ltd. were registered in September and have yet to reveal shareholdings.
When questioned on other details of the package Pollock was unable to reveal drivers, an engine, the tires or even the BAT brand which will be used, although the team's logo - three yellow leaves on a blue background - is obviously based on the 555 motif used by BAT in rallying. Team insiders tried to suggest that this may be a bluff and that Lucky Strike could still be the brand although the team admitted that it was encouraging speculation to increase coverage.
The team was able to reveal that it is already building its factory at Brackley and that this will have a half-scale windtunnel on site. The Reynard design team will be led by Australian Malcolm Oastler who has been with Reynard since its early days. Adrian Reynard and Oastler have already begun recruiting design staff and report 600 applications for 20 jobs. Reynard said that the team's aim is to take pole position and win its first race.
Despite the reticence to give details Pollock claimed that the team would offer "openness" in the future...
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