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Manning joins BAR

HAVING been told that Williams F1 would not be needing him in 2000, Darren Manning signed for British American Racing Honda shortly before Christmas. He will act as the team's test driver, alongside the little-known Frenchman Patrick Lemarie. The 24-year-old Yorkshireman was racing F3 in Japan last season and won the title and the non-championship events in Macau and Korea.

He tested for Williams recently in Spain but it seems that the team decided that he was not ready to replace Alex Zanardi, and with Bruno Junqueira already signed up as the test driver there was no job for him.

Manning hopes that a successful testing career with BAR will lead to a chance to race for the team in the future. It is possible that there will be a vacancy at the end of the current season as Ricardo Zonta is under a long-term contract to McLaren and Jacques Villeneuve has said that he will have no choice but to leave the team if the results do not improve dramatically.

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