JANUARY 11, 2002
Senior Jaguar men to drive F1 car at Valencia
WOLFGANG REITZLE, the president of Ford's Premier Automotive Group, and one of the driving forces behind Jaguar's F1 program, will join Niki Lauda at Valencia on Sunday where he will drive one of the Jaguar R2C development cars after the former triple World Champion has taken his turn at the wheel.
Reitzle, who is 52, will not be alone as the only F1 novice to take part on what is a promotional day for the Jaguar F1 program. Also driving the car will be Richard Parry-Jones (50), the vice president, Product Development, of the Premier Automotive Group, and Martin Leach who is head of Ford product development in Cologne.
Reitzle and Parry-Jones have flown back from the USA specially to take this opportunity which is regarded as an endorsement of their enthusiasm for the Jaguar F1 project which has attracted much criticism for its lack of performance over its turbulent past season.
The Premier Automotive Group is regarded internally as one of Ford's success stories, comprising as it does Jaguar, Volvo, Land Rover, Aston Martin and Lincoln. Although the parent company is currently poised to axe 20,000 jobs worldwide, PAG is performing well with Volvo recently returning an impressive profit and the all-new Range Rover model receiving almost unreserved, rave reviews in the media after its recent official launch.
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