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Williams confirms Boullion

AS predicted last week, Jean-Christophe Boullion has been named Williams test driver for the second consecutive year. The Formula 3000 Champion of 1994 retains his role at Williams thanks to backing from French oil company Elf.

The 26-year-old Frenchman, who lives in Oxford, England, impressed Williams last year with his testing work but failed to live up to expectations as a racer when he replaced Karl Wendlinger at Sauber, although he nearly scored a point on his debut at Monaco, and later collected points in both Germany and Italy, finishing 16th in the World Championship.

Although overshadowed by Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Boullion did impress Sauber principals, who felt that the Frenchman did a good job in the circumstances with which he was presented. They decided to hire Johnny Herbert for 1996 because of his experience and because he was a race winner.

Boullion began his 1996 testing program at Estoril last week, setting the fastest time on Thursday during an 80-lap race test. His lap time was just 0.2secs slower than Hill had managed the previous day.

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