DECEMBER 7, 2001
Cheever confirms technical deal with Arrows
EDDIE CHEEVER has confirmed that he has a deal to use the technical facilities of the TWR Group, the sister company of the Arrows Formula 1 team. Both are owned by Tom Walkinshaw, who used to employ Cheever as a driver in the late 1980s with the Silk Cut Jaguar sportscar team. TWR is already building the Nissan-based Infiniti engines which are used by Team Cheever in IRL and now it seems that the team is going to have access to more technical assistance, with the likelihood being that this will give access to the team's windtunnel in Milton Keynes and the various static rig facilities at TWR's Leafield facility. It is not clear whether Cheever will be paying Walkinshaw for the privilege as there appears to be a complicated deal involving both teams being supported by Red Bull. The Austrian drinks company has been pushing to create an "American" F1 team and it may be that Walkinshaw and Cheever are working in that direction in the long term. For the moment, however, Cheever's aim is to win the Indianapolis 500 and the IRL Championship although this task will be much harder in 2002 with the arrival in the series of Penske Racing.
Cheever incidentally is planning to run two American drivers and is testing Jeff Ward and Buddy Rice but is also expected to test a CART driver shortly. This is thought likely to be Bryan Herta, who is talking about a Formula 1 deal in the longer term.