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Jaguar announce Scheckter as 2001 test driver

Jaguar Racing announced on Thursday the appointment of Tomas Scheckter as the team's test driver for the 2001 Formula One World Championship season.

Scheckter, who competed in the British Formula Three Championship with Stewart Racing this year, will take over from Luciano Burti after the Brazilian landed a full drive alongside Eddie Irvine.

"It's a very exciting prospect to be involved with this project in such a key role and I'm particularly proud to be associated with Jaguar," Scheckter said. "They are one of the most prestigious names in business.

"My ultimate aim is to become a Formula One driver, but before that, there's a job to be done and that job is to ensure next year's Jaguar R2 is as competitive as possible. It's a task I relish.

South African Scheckter, 20, hopes to emulate the performance of his father Jody - the last Ferrari driver to win the world championship in 1979.

"Tomas loves the development side of racing and I'm sure he will do a good job for the team," Jody said. "It is also a fantastic opportunity for him."

Jaguar chairman Neil Ressler said that the appointment of Scheckter would help the team become more competitive and insisted that the youngster will have learned a great deal from his father's achievements.

"This appointment is further evidence of the steps we are taking to ensure Jaguar Racing will be competitive in the future," Ressler said.

"Tomas has consistently impressed us with his performances in the year's British Formula Three Championship with the Stewart Racing team and the Formula One test we gave him.

"He comes with a great pedigree and of course a father and mentor, Jody, who achieved the highest prize in the sport."

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