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McNish gets Toyota testing role

TOYOTA MOTORSPORT has announced that Scottish driver Allan McNish will be its Formula 1 test and development driver in 2001, when the company intends to have a prototype F1 chassis up and running. McNish will undertake a series of tests this year using a 1999 Toyota GT-One sportscar which will be fitted with systems being developed for the F1 car.

At 30 McNish is probably too old to race for Toyota in F1 in 2002. He was impressively quick in the junior formulae in the late 1980s. He won two rounds of the International Formula 3000 series with the DAMS team in 1990 but after a disappointing season in 1991 drifted out of the limelight while contemporaries such as Rubens Barrichello, David Coulthard, Damon Hill, Olivier Panis and Alessandro Zanardi moved on to success in F1 and CART.

McNish was the McLaren test driver in 1990, 1991 and 1992. In March 1993 he joined Benetton and helped to develop systems which were used on the World Championship-winning Benetton B194. He continued to work with Benetton until 1996. He was also involved in the disastrous Lola F1 program.

In recent years he has concentrated on sportscar racing, winning the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1998 with Porsche. He joined Toyota last year to race the GT-One sportscar at Le Mans.

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