Toyota secure track deal with Circuit Paul Ricard

THE Toyota Formula One team announced on Wednesday that they will base their testing work in 2001 and will launch their new car at the Circuit Paul Ricard, near Marseille in France.

Toyota Motorsport, who will come into Formula One in 2002, will spend this year preparing for their Grand Prix introduction with an intensive testing program.

The Circuit Paul Ricard will be the home track for Toyota's F1 project and will also be the venue when they unveil their test car on March 23. The team will have a state-of-the-art workshop for the cars and engineers at the track.

Former Sauber driver Mika Salo and Briton Allan McNish will drive the Toyota test cars this year as the Japanese company also prepare to test at most major European circuits in 2001.

"What we expect from the drivers obviously is a big effort with this testing program," said Toyota team manager Ange Pasquali.

"Our initial plan is that Mika would concentrate on the development side of the car and Allan would run the tests to collect data on new circuits. So Mika will be spending more time than Allan at Paul Ricard."

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