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Toyota on the road for February

THE new Toyota F1 car could be ready for testing by February next year - one month ahead of schedule.

Toyota, who will make the Formula One debut in 2002, have employed Briton Allan McNish and Finn Mika Salo to test the car next year and the team have already fired up a spec engine.

A team spokesman has said that "as long as everything goes to plan" the car should be ready for testing on track by February next year.

Toyota are already testing the car in a wind tunnel at their Cologne base, but all results so far have been kept strictly under wraps.

Reports in recent days have said that Toyota are poised to buy shares in the Fuji Circuit in Japan, and if that materializes it will be used as the outfit's test track.

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