NEWS FROM THE AUTO TRADER RAC TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP 13/12/96 HARVEY AND WATTS CONFIRMED AT PEUGEOT

Former British Champion Tim Harvey will lead Peugeot's assault on the Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship in 1997, it is announced today (Friday). His team-mate will once again be Patrick Watts.

The British duo will drive Peugeot 406s built by Motor Sport Developments, the team which turned the Honda Accord into a race- winner in 1996.

Peugeot motor sport manager Mick Linford said of the signings: ''There are no two better drivers to realise the 406's potential in 1997. They have both worked hard to develop the car in its debut year and we are confident that with their familiarity and undisputed racing ability Tim and Patrick will make the 406 a race winner.''

Harvey and Watts will test the first 97-specification car in February, seven weeks ahead of the opening rounds of the Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship at Donington Park.

Tim Harvey, 35, entered the BTCC in 1987 with Rover and has since driven Fords, BMWs, for Renault and Volvo. With 16 race wins to his credit, he is one of the most successful drivers in the championship.

Forty-one-year-old Watts was one of the UK's most successful club championship racers before switching to the BTCC with Mazda in '92 and '93. He first raced for Peugeot in touring cars in 1994.

Peugeot's announcement leaves only one unfilled seat among the eight manufacturer teams set to contest the Auto Trader Championship next year. Renault is expected shortly to announce the identity of Alain Menu's team-mate. Rumours link the drive with former Grand Prix stars Gianni Morbidelli and Jean-Christophe Boullion.

-- Official BTCC website: Best in British Motor Sport http://www.demon.co.uk/racing