APRIL 6, 1998
Boullion to test for BAR
AS we predicted last September Jean-Christophe Boullion has been signed up to be test driver for the planned British╩American╩Racing team in 1999. The 29-year-old Frenchman became the Williams test driver at the start of 1995 and briefly raced for Sauber that year, replacing Karl Wendlinger. He then went back to Williams test driving duties in 1996 and 1997. He has completed many thousands of miles of engine testing for Renault Sport and will be a useful asset for the new team as it begins development work with what are expected to be Honda V10 engines - probably rebadged as Acura╩V10s - in the months╩ahead.
Boullion is likely to be partnered at BAR by CART star Alessandro Zanardi, who finishes his Target Chip Ganassi Racing contract at the end of this season. The latest whisper is that Zanardi will run in a Kool-sponsored Formula 1 Reynard-Acura, a move which makes a lot of sense for both British American Tobacco (which sells Kool cigarettes in the United States) and with Honda (which sells Acura cars in the US). With a former CART Champion and sponsors which are known in the US market, this will help F1 make more of an impact in America - which explains one reason why Bernie Ecclestone is so keen to support the efforts of BAR.
We expect that the second BAR Reynard-Acura will be run in a different BAT brand livery, either 555 or Lucky Strike and it is logical to suggest that Team Green in CART will also split its livery with Paul Tracy running with Kool branding and Dario╩Franchitti in either 555 or Lucky Strike.
This will all fit in with the BAT philosophy of being much more than just a racing team with a package of different teams running in identical livery in different formulae so as to increase the markets targeted and enhance the image of BAT as a major player in global motor racing.
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