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MARCH 17, 2002

More on D.A.R.T GP...

THE future of D.A.R.T Grand Prix remains clouded at the moment with interest in the subject waning somewhat in the Formula 1 paddock as most of the team owners seem to have written off the project. Tom Walkinshaw, however, still seems to think that everything is fine and plans are apparently being made for the team to travel to Brazil.

A team of 30 mechanics, made up of TWR and Prost GP mechanics, flew to Kuala Lumpur but the cars were impounded by the local customs and so the team members were left with nothing to do and without the right passes they were not even able to get into the paddock - although one or two did drift in during the weekend. It seems that the crew was under the control of longtime TWR employee Ken Page but the word in the paddock was that Tom Walkinshaw stalwart Tony Dowe will take over the running of the team (if it survives). Dowe is reported to have left his current job with the Team Roberts motorcycle organization (leaving this in the hands of another former F1 man Charlie Moody). The 53-year-old from Weston-super-Mare has been working in racing since the mid 1960s and was in F1 in the 1970s before heading to America with the Haas CanAm team in 1980. By the end of 1982 he had become team manager of Newman-Haas Racing and he stayed there until 1987 when he set up TWR Inc. for Walkinshaw, for an assault on the IMSA sportscar title with Jaguar. The team enjoyed numerous successes in the late 1980s and early 1990s but in 1994 Dowe was put in charge of Ligier - which Walkinshaw was then running. After that he switched to Arrows with Walkinshaw but then disappeared off to America again to work for Don Panoz.

The future of D.A.R.T is by no means certain at the moment but we expect the next few days to be critical.