SEPTEMBER 27, 2003
Jaguar gets the Bedford windtunnel
Jaguar Racing may be tight on budget but the team has just concluded an impressive deal to get its hands on the former Arrows F1 windtunnel in Bedford. The half scale tunnel is the only one in the world which is built from concrete which has none of the problems associated with wind tunnels made from other materials. The problem was that it was so expensive to build that the British government abandoned plans to build several of them.
The tunnel was originally used by the Ministry of Defence but was discovered by John Barnard some years ago when he was working with Ferrari. Before he could get a deal for the Italians to use the windtunnel he left the team and when he joined Arrows he recommended that the team do a deal to get the tunnel as quickly as possible. The complicated mess that followed the collapse of the Arrows and TWR empires meant that the windtunnel was eventually left in the hands of the receiver and Jaguar acquired the facility at relatively small cost. Our sources say that the 123-year lease that jaguar has signed with the MOD cost something like $5m, although this is a bargain when one considers the cost of building new windtunnels. Some upgrading work will be necessary but the facility is a major bonus for the team.
The current Jaguar windtunnel in Bicester will continue to be used.
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