Young Briton Davidson named as BAR test driver

BRITISH AMERICAN RACING announced on Monday the signing of young Briton Anthony Davidson as their official test driver for 2001.

Davidson, who competed with Jenson Button in karting during his early career, will join the Brackley-based team with immediate effect after competing in the Formula Ford Zetec and Formula Ford winter series this year.

"All of us here at BAR are extremely excited about the signing," said managing director Craig Pollock. "We fully believe that we have found an outstanding talent.

"We are looking forward to a successful partnership and welcome him on board at British American Racing."

Davidson, the younger brother of Channel Four's Big Brother game-show contestant Andrew, was named as winner of the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award on Sunday and BAR jumped ahead of their rivals to sign the talented 21-year-old.

Davidson became the 12th driver to win the award, following in the footsteps of the likes of Button, David Coulthard and Dario Franchitti, and collected a $75,000 check for his achievements.

"I just can't believe the amount of zeroes on this check," Davidson said. "This award means so much to me, it's the biggest thing I have ever won."

"Having just signed the testing contract with BAR, it is slowly starting to sink in and become reality," said Davidson. "We had been talking to the team for several weeks and when they offered me the drive I was just astounded.

"To be given a Formula One drive is what I, and all of my fellow competitors in Formula Ford Zetec dreamed of. So to make that dream a reality is simply fantastic."

Davidson will also compete for Carlin Motorsport in the British Formula Three Championship alongside his BAR testing duties.

BAR are yet to confirm whether 2000 test drivers Briton Darren Manning and Frenchman Patrick LeMarie have a future with the team.

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