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JUNE 5, 2002

Minardi signs Malcharek

THE KL Minardi Asiatech team has signed up Jirko Malcharek, an almost unknown Slovakian driver to be its test driver for the rest of the year. It is presumed that the 35-year-old from Bratislava is paying for the role, which will help Minardi through its current cash crisis.

Malcharek tested for the team last week at the Vairano circuit, doing aerodynamic mapping work.

Malcharek has been racing since the late 1980s when he completed in the Czechoslovakian touring car championship. After the division of the Czech Republic and Slovakia he moved into one-make racing with Formula Fiesta and with BMWs and then raced a Mercedes in international events before switching to the Porsche Supercup in 1998. Last year he raced in GTs but recently has seemed to want a single-seater career having tested for the European F3000 series team GP Racing and now for Minardi.