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Gene set for Williams test seat

BMW-WILLIAMS are set to turn to Marc Gene as a test driver for next season with the Spaniard unsure of his future in Formula One.

The Minardi driver has been left in the dark over a drive for 2001 after Spanish communications giant Telefonica, who back Gene, decided to pull out of the sport.

The Grove-based team plan to increase their testing schedule for next year, and Gene has become their priority after Briton Johnny Herbert turned down an offer in favor of moving to America's Champ Cars.

Gene said: "To be with a team like Williams would be something special, but I would prefer to race and I'm working on that."

BMW Motorsport director Gerhard Berger has admitted the team are keen to appoint an experienced back-up driver as Williams step up their quest to end the dominance of McLaren and Ferrari.

"We're going to increase our test schedule and it very important to have a good back-up, someone who is capable of driving at a similar place to the race drivers," said Berger.

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