SEPTEMBER 14, 1998
Minardi re-signs with Ford
Ford Europe's motorsport boss Martin Whitaker says that there will be 50 Cosworth engineers and technicians working on the Minardi engines next year. These will be developments of the VJ engine which is being used this year by StewartÊGrandÊPrix and Whitaker says that Cosworth will develop these while Stewart will have an all new Zetec-R engine, designated CK.
Minardi also announced a two-year technology deal with Gabriele Rumi's Fondmetal Technologies company. FondmetalÊTechnologies operates an impressive 50 percent rolling-road windtunnel at Casumaro. This has been used in recent years by both Benetton and Tyrrell but the Benetton deal expires at the end of this year and Rumi - who also controls Minardi - wants to use Casumaro to improve the performance of the team.
The team has also announced the recruitment of a new sporting director with the expected transfer of Cesare Fiorio from Prost to Minardi at the end of the year. The 59-year-old former Lancia, Ferrari, Ligier and Forti team boss holds a largely symbolic role at Prost and it will be interesting to see how Minardi intend to use him in the years ahead.