BAR Unveil 2003 Challenger at Barcelona

The British American Racing team unveiled today at Barcelona's Montjuich Park in Spain their challenger for the 2003 season, the Honda-powered 005.

BAR Unveil 2003 Challenger at Barcelona

The British American Racing team unveiled today at Barcelona's Montjuich Park in Spain their challenger for the 2003 season, the Honda-powered 005.

The Brackley-based outfit also announced a change of corporate image, and will now be known as B·A·R instead of British American Racing or BAR. The team finished in eighth place in last year's Constructors' Championship, but team principal David Richards is confident this year they will be moving closer to their goal of fighting for the title.

"2003 will be a challenging year for BAR but we have made a substantial step forward over the winter" said Richards. "Together with our partners Lucky Strike, Honda and Bridgestone, I am confident that we will make significant progress towards our long-term target of winning the World Championship.

"None of the other teams have been standing still though, so we will need to stretch ourselves throughout the entire season to achieve our goals."

Under Richards' supervision - the Scot having joined the team at the end of 2001 to replace Craig Pollock - BAR underwent a major overhaul last season. Under Richards' supervision BAR hired Geoff Willis, who is the team's new technical director after previously working as chief aerodynamicist for Williams.

The new 005 chassis has been designed by the team headed by Willis, and Canadian Jacques Villeneuve and Briton Jenson Button will be the drivers for the new season. Richards is hopeful the new machine will allow both his drivers to challenge the top teams.

"With a much-improved car, Jacques Villeneuve will now be able to demonstrate his extraordinary talent, whilst Jenson Button, with three seasons under his belt, is well-positioned to challenge the front runners," he said.

"Together with our third driver Takuma Sato, I feel that BAR now has a driver line-up that is the match of any in Formula One."

Japanese manufacturer Honda will supply engines to the team for the fourth consecutive year. The former World Champions will provide engines exclusively to BAR after the Jordan Grand Prix team decided to switch to Ford engines for the upcoming season.

"We believe that our additional support, increased branding on the car and the new powerplant will be seen as symbols of our determination to compete at the highest level in Formula One," said Takeo Kiuchi, Honda's project leader.

"The whole Lucky Strike BAR Honda team are determined to give the fans some exciting racing this year."

The 005 will make its testing debut tomorrow at the Barcelona circuit with Jenson Button at the wheel.

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