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Jordan confirm Zonta as 2001 test driver

JORDAN confirmed on Sunday that Brazilian Ricardo Zonta would be joining the team as official test driver for the 2001 world championship.

Zonta, who will lose his seat with British American Racing to Frenchman Olivier Panis at the end of the season, returns to the Silverstone-based team as test driver after previously fulfilling the role in 1997.

The Brazilian's manager Geraldo Rodriguez had revealed on Saturday that Zonta had agreed the switch and Jordan confirmed it 24-hours later.

Chief executive Eddie Jordan said that the appointment of Zonta is vital to the team as they will double their testing duties for the 2001 season when they will be powered by a Honda works engine.

"I am delighted to have Ricardo back with the team," Jordan said. "He was an exciting talent before, and now he has added experience to go with it.

"That will be hugely important to the team as we double our testing efforts in order to mount a championship challenge. Ricardo will be very busy next year."

Zonta, 24, is delighted with the move and insists the opportunity to remain with Honda - they also power BAR - is perfect as he aims to continue his Formula One education.

"Returning to Jordan and staying involved with Honda is the ideal situation for me to build my experience," Zonta said. "Of course I would like to race, but I am happy to be a part of building Jordan-Honda into a winning team."

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