Grapevine: Irvine to Test Ford's WRC Car

Jobless Formula One star Eddie Irvine will join former world rally champion Colin McRae for a ride in a Ford Focus rally car on Friday but bosses insist he will not be offered a one-off drive with the team.

Grapevine: Irvine to Test Ford's WRC Car

Jobless Formula One star Eddie Irvine will join former world rally champion Colin McRae for a ride in a Ford Focus rally car on Friday but bosses insist he will not be offered a one-off drive with the team.

Irvine was dropped by Jaguar last week when they refused to renew his estimated $6 million per year contract and he will break from efforts to secure a 2003 drive with Jordan to have a rally try-out at Ford's Cheshire test track.

But Ford motorsport communications manager Barry Reynolds said Irvine would "absolutely not" be given the chance to run in the World Rally Championship.

"It has happened in the past and in this year's Rally of Great Britain there is (MotoGP rider) Valentino Rossi and (former F1 driver) Mark Blundell," said Reynolds. "It is interesting to drop people like that in and any professional driver is always going to be good.

"But this is just a response to a personal request from six months ago - we are not looking for a new rally driver."

German Formula One star Heinz-Harald Frentzen expressed an interest in competing in his country's event this season but failed to secure a drive - but Reynolds admitted Irvine could be given the chance to try out the Focus WRC for himself.

"Something will come out of his experience and it is certainly possible we could give him a run at some point," said Reynolds. "But the levels of running in the WRC these days are as high as Formula One - there is a huge financial commitment - and we wouldn't run him properly."

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