BAR goes testing in Wales

BRITISH AMERICAN RACING went testing last week at the tiny Welsh airfield racing circuit of Pembrey. The aim of the test was to try out a variety of different liveries to see which ones worked best with TV cameras. The test was carried out amidst much secrecy but the team was lucky to get away with it as there were several F1 photographers present who had their films confiscated by security men.

The cars used are understood to have been privately-owned Tyrrells, which probably come from a private collection of Tyrrells, possibly that of Australian Paul Stoddart, who owns European Airlines, a current Tyrrell sponsor.

Our spies tell us that two cars were run in different liveries: one the red and white of Lucky Strike and the other the blue and yellow of 555 State Express.

As we revealed last year the team will run with different colors schemes and will, as a result, have to have two spare cars; two different trucks and two separate motorhomes. They will also require rather more mechanics as pit stops crews will all be in the correct uniforms and it is unrealistic to think that the mechanics will be able to change shirts between pit stops.

We understand that Jacques Villeneuve will drive the Lucky Strike car and that the team is trying to sign up a South American driver to race the 555 machine as British American Tobacco is aiming to make inroads into the South American market. Although there are all kinds of smokescreen rumors in the paddock at the moment, we believe that BAR's major target at the moment for the second drive is McLaren's test driver Ricardo Zonta, who is currently racing for the Mercedes-Benz GT team and testing for McLaren.

There are understood to be several major Brazilian sponsors interested in entering F1 if they have a driver to support, Rubens Barrichello having failed to excite much interest in recent years because of his lack of results.

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