BMW heading for Miramas

BMW MOTORSPORT is to begin testing its new V10 Formula 1 engine behind closed doors to prevent embarrassment if there are any problems. The tests will take place within a matter of days at the BMW test facility at Miramas, on the flat plains to the north-west of Marseilles. This was built as an oval speedway in the early 1920s and was the site of a French GP as long ago as 1926, but it has long since ceased to hold races and became a test facility with various roads laid out in the infield. The circuit is surrounded by a high wall and so work can be done away from prying eyes.

The prototype V10 engine has been fitted into the back of a 1998 Williams FW20 and this will be driven by German JorgÊMuller. The BMW test team will be run out of Munich with no plans for Williams to test the new engine until the current relationship with Supertec finishes at the end of the season. An intensive series of tests are planned for the winter with RalfÊSchumacher and Alex Zanardi charged with developing the BMW unit.

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