JANUARY 17, 2000
Villadelprat for BAR?
BRITISH AMERICAN RACING has confirmed that it has had yet another management reshuffle with Don Brown - the chief executive of Imperial Tobacco in Canada - becoming chairman of the board of BAR's holding company. He replaces Craig Pollock. At the same time Reynard's Rick Gorne has been moved from his current role as BAR's Race Operations Director to a new role as "motorsport development director". This sounds like a rather nebulous position with his job being to investigate "options for developing British American Racing over the longer term". This seems to suggest that Gorne will probably spend more time selling Reynard products than messing about with BAR.
Gorne is an able administrator and the move suggests that part of the jigsaw puzzle is not yet complete and our understanding is that Gorne has been moved aside to make way for a new head of operations at BAR. Our spies tell us that this will be ex-Benetton operations director Joan Villadelprat.
The Spaniard had been linked with a role in the reconstructed Telefonica Minardi team but last week's Minardi announcements suggested that not much is going to change for the moment in the little Italian team.
If the hiring of Villadelprat is confirmed, it will mean that Craig Pollock's active role within the race team will be reduced still further and with Brown taking over as chairman of the holding company the moves must be seen as a reduction in his powerbase.
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