Herbert Out, Chilton In at MG

Johnny Herbert has lost out on an MG seat in the DTM series, with the team set instead to race 20-year-old BTCC race winner Tom Chilton

Herbert Out, Chilton In at MG

The ex-Formula One star had been set to take the seat earmarked for a British driver, one of two in the MG ZT 160 programme developed by Zytec Engineering, but negotiations have broken down.

"It was looking very promising with Johnny," Zytec boss Trevor Foster told Autosport magazine, "but we couldn't quite come to an agreement in the end. Tom is now in line to be one of the drivers, but there are still one or two things to be confirmed before it is signed and sealed."

Foster also confirmed that it was "natural" that Arena International would run the two car squad in DTM - the team has already worked with Zytec in the Le Mans Endurance Series and would have run their 04S prototype at the 24 Hours had the constructor received an entry from Le Mans organisers.

Chilton raced for Arena in the BTCC in 2003 and 2004.

Zytec has decided to miss the first two races of the series in order to fine tune the car's aerodynamic work before it is frozen. Accordingly there is no rush to announce the second driver, although Czech driver Jarek Janis has been strongly tipped for the seat.

DTM organisers ITR, who are funding the MG race programme despite suggestions that the manufacturer is currently facing bankruptcy, are keen to run the Czech driver to help promote the Brno race.

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