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FEBRUARY 1, 1999

Technical reshuffles at Prost GP

THERE has been a significant technical reshuffle inside Prost Grand Prix within recent weeks with former team manager DidierÊPerrin becoming head of the drawing office at Guyancourt and Eric Barbaroux, who was in charge of special projects, taking control of research programs as well.

Loic Bigois remains in charge of Design and R&D and Michel Imbert continues in charge of production but the race engineering team has been restructured under former Arrows engineer Vincent Gaillardot. Briton Humphrey Corbett will look after Olivier Panis this year while Jarno Trulli will be overseen by Gilles Alegoet. Jacky Eeeckelaert, who was chief engineer last year, will now concentrate his efforts on the team's test program, rather than trying to do both racing and testing.

Alain Prost's latest new project is to build a windtunnel at St. Quentin en Yvelines. The team's 40% rolling-road facility at Magny-Cours has been upgraded in recent months with input from experts at the government-owned Office National d'Etudes et de Recherche Aerospatiales. This is France's aerospace research agency which has 1000 scientists and a variety of windtunnel facilities in Toulouse, at Avrieux in the Alps and at Meudon, not far from the Prost factory. ONERA - a Prost partner - is expected to be heavily involved in the construction of the team's new windtunnel.

A great deal of emphasis is being placed on aerodynamics with the team's windtunnel department - under Briton BenÊWood - having grown from six to 17 people in the last 12 months.