FEBRUARY 2, 1998

Moody to join BAR

CHARLIE MOODY is tipped to become the team manager of British American Racing.

CHARLIE MOODY is tipped to become the team manager of British American Racing. Forty one-year-old Moody has nearly 20 years of experience in F1, having joined Wolf Racing as a mechanic in 1977. He moved to Fittipaldi but in 1982 followed Keke Rosberg to Williams, where he spent five years, working his way up the organizational ladder until he moved to Benetton to run the test team.

In 1989 Moody was poached to do a similar job for Leyton House Racing and he became its team manager within a year. He stayed with the operation through a series of setbacks and by the time the team closed down in 1993 he was the only force holding the whole operation together. He returned to F1 the following year with the new Simtek Grand Prix and guided the team through the difficult times after the death of Roland Ratzenberger at Imola that season. He continued at Simtek until the team folded in mid-1995 and, a little weary with Grand Prix racing after several difficult seasons he went to work for Janspeed in the British Touring Car Championship.

His recruitment by BAR gives the team a man with an in-depth knowledge of the people in F1, which will greatly help the new team as it recruits for 1999.

The appointment means that Spanish Joan Villadelprat is now likely to remain as director of operations at Benetton, although he had been on the BAR short-list.

British American Racing is expected to make an increasing number of announcements in the course of the next few weeks as many of the people joining the team will then have given notice to their existing employers.