MARCH 4, 1996
Arrows sponsorship launch hit by IRA
ARROWS GRAND PRIX was planning to launch its sponsorship package last Friday with the novel idea of inviting the press to go to Heathrow Airport and see the cars in their new livery as they were being loaded onto a plane bound for Melbourne. The event had to be called off because it was impossible to organize as a result of increased security at Heathrow, which has resulted from the IRA bombing campaign in London.
Arrows had been trying to convince Benson & Hedges that it should support them but the pitch failed, with Jordan getting the money. The Arrows package is, therefore, rather thin with Hype not being as big on the car as had been expected. This may change if more money arrives. The main sponsor, as expected, will be Philips Car Systems - a longtime backer of the team's lead driver Jos Verstappen. Verstappen also brings backing from Marlboro Holland, Unilever, ICL computers and Exact software. The team has money from Quest International and from Track & Field magazine, while second driver Ricardo Rosset brings a variety of small Brazilian sponsors.
In recent days the team has lost its technical director Alan Jenkins - he has joined Stewart Grand Prix - but Arrows is not planning to replace Jenkins immediately.
The team is expected to nominate a test driver at some point, and British Formula 3 Champion Oliver Gavin has been mentioned. Arrows team boss Jackie Oliver denied rumors which suggest that he has been talking to Brazilian youngster HelioÊCastro-Neves.