OCTOBER 1, 2004
Trulli in, Zonta out in Japan, Panis in Brazil
Panasonic Toyota Racing has announced that Jarno Trulli will race for the team in the last two races of the season, the Grands Prix of Japan and Brazil. In Suzuka Trulli will race alongside Olivier Panis, who has already signed a contract to be the team's third driver next season. After the GP of Japan, Olivier will hand over his driving duties to team mate Ricardo Zonta, allowing him to race at his home Grand Prix in Brazil. Ryan Briscoe will retain his role as third driver on Friday at the final two Grands Prix of this season.
"Having the opportunity to bring Jarno into the race team for Japan and Brazil will be highly beneficial," said Tsutomu Tomita. "It will allow us to develop a solid working relationship with him in race conditions in anticipation of the 2005 season. We have come to a mutual agreement with Olivier to leave his seat as a race driver one race earlier than planned so we can already begin to actively work on our driver line-up for next year. Likewise we are sorry that we can not give Ricardo the chance to race in Japan. We thank both Olivier and Ricardo for showing great sportsmanship in this situation."
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