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SEPTEMBER 11, 2000

Burti signs for Jaguar Racing

JAGUAR RACING has announced that it has signed the Brazilian Luciano Burti for the 2001 season. The 25-year-old from Sao Paulo will partner Ulsterman Eddie Irvine. The team is believed to have a number of options on Burti for the future. Burti has been testing for the team this year and made his F1 debut in Austria standing in for Eddie Irvine, who was forced to stand down because of a stomach complaint.

Burti will replace Johnny Herbert who is quitting Formula 1 to race in the CART series in the United States. Jaguar Racing had talks with Jean Alesi and tested Dario Franchitti before deciding to settle on Burti.

The team has yet to announce whom will replace Burti as the team's test driver but South African Tomas Scheckter is believed to be the man most likely to get the job.

Despite his disappointing performances this year, it seems that Jaguar is going to stick with Eddie Irvine in 2001. The Ulsterman has a three-year contract with the team but our sources say that the management at Ford has not been very impressed to date and may consider replacing Eddie if things do not improve in the course of the 2001 season. The big problem for the team is that until its new factory is completed it is going to be very hard to attract top level drivers and Irvine may be seen as the best compromise for the time being.