MAJOR THREE-WAY BOOST FOR TYRRELL TEAM
The Tyrrell Racing Organisation has announced a major three-way boost for its Formula 1 team - a long-term marketing initiative, a new sponsorship and the signing of Japan's most talented 'rising star' as test driver for 1997.
Speaking at a Tokyo press conference today (Wednesday), Tyrrell chairman and team principal Ken Tyrrell revealed that the company has signed a three-year marketing consultancy agreement with Satoru Nakajima's 'Nakajima Planning' company to represent the team's sporting interests in the important Japanese market place. As part of this initiative, Satoru joins the Tyrrell board as Sporting Director.
Mr Tyrrell also announced that Japan's automotive component and accessory manufacturer PIAA has signed a major sponsorship agreement for 1997. In addition, Nakajima's protege Toranosuke Takagi will be the team's official test driver for 1997 with a view to him becoming one of the team's race drivers from 1998.
Ken Tyrrell commented: "We are delighted to form this new business relationship with Satoru Nakajima who has always remained a friend. He raced with Tyrrell for two seasons in 1990 and 1991, earning several world championship points, and it is a real pleasure to welcome him back to our team in his new role of Sporting Director. PIAA is also an old friend, and its major investment with us will bring great benefits for both our companies. I am convinced that young Toranosuke Takagi has a great future ahead of him in Formula 1 with Tyrrell.
Satoru Nakajima, 43-year old veteran of 74 Grands Prix, commented: "Ever since retiring from Formula 1 driving in 1991, I have been thinking of coming back here, to Tyrrell. Ken and I have discussed the idea several times and with Takagi's recent rising performances with my Formula Nippon team - Japan's equivalent of F3000 - I decided to knock on the door at Tyrrell again. Now, as a member of the Tyrrell board I am going to work very hard to help them be competitive in Formula 1 - as hard as I work for my own Formula Nippon and Formula 3 teams, my racing and karting schools. Personally I am very excited about this new partnership; my second career in Formula 1 has just begun."
Toranosuke Takagi enthused: "I am so delighted to get this chance. Next year will be very busy for me as Tyrrell test driver and Nakajima San's Formula Nippon race driver, but such commitment is very welcome. Next season will help me to develop my talents and put me in good shape - ready to race for Tyrrell in Formula 1 in 1998 and beyond."
At the Tyrrell team's Ockham headquarters, construction of its new Tyrrell Ford 025 challenger is on schedule and the new car will begin track testing early in the New Year. Mika Salo is already confirmed as race driver for 1997 and the identity of his team mate will be announced soon.
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