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Stefan GP cancels Portimao test

Zoran StefanovichStefan GP has abandoned plans to test at Portimao in Portugal this week after failing to secure a supply of tyres to run on, AUTOSPORT can reveal.

The Serbian-based team has its new car, the Toyota-based Stefan 01, all ready to hit the track following a fire-up in Cologne last week, but its failure to obtain tyres from Formula 1's official tyre supplier Bridgestone has scuppered its bid to begin testing.

Bridgestone is only contracted to supply F1 tyres to those outfits that have an entry to the world championship, and the Japanese tyre manufacturer was unable to provide alternative GP2 rubber at such short notice.

With Stefan GP boss Zoran Stefanovic unwilling to run the car on tyres that are not suited to F1 performance, he has decided to call off this week's planned run.

"We cannot do the test at the moment and we are still trying to find a solution," Stefanovic told AUTOSPORT. "We have no tyres and will not test on tyres that are not suitable for the car to go testing at full speed.

"We now need to see what our options are, but we definitely need to do something to sort this situation out."

Stefan GP will almost certainly not be able to get hold of F1-spec tyres unless it gets an entry to the 2010 championship - something it has been pushing for for several months now.

Although there are now serious doubts about the future of Team US F1, which has asked to miss the first races of the season, Stefanovic has said that he is still no nearer understanding where his outfit stands.

"We are expecting that the situation will be clarified soon," he said. "Everybody knows that some teams are facing certain problems, and we are looking to clarify this situation."

Stefanovic also hoped to be able to confirm his team's drivers in the next week.

"We have already agreed terms with [Kazuki] Nakajima, and we expect to conclude a deal with [Jacques] Villeneuve. We think it is a good decision for us, and it makes sense for him."

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