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Jaguar to test Klien and Bell in November 14 Nov 2003

Townsend Bell (USA) Arden International.
FIA Formula 3000 International Championship, Rd1, Qualifying, Imola, Italy, 18 April 2003

Jaguar have revealed that they are to test two new drivers as they continue their search for a 2004 team mate for Mark Webber. Austrian Christian Klien and American Townsend Bell will both get a chance to impress at the Valencia test in Spain at the end of November.

Klien, who has backing from Austrian energy drink company Red Bull, was the 2002 German Formula Renault champion and finished second in this year's German Formula 3 series. Bell, who has already tested for BAR this season, came ninth in the 2003 International Formula 3000 championship.

Jaguar have stressed that the test, which will take place on November 25-27, is not a showdown between the two men, but simply part of the team's ongoing driver evaluation programme. "This is going to be a talent test," spokesman Nav Sidhu told news agency Reuters.

The team will have two cars at Valencia. They will be shared by Klien, Bell and Webber for the first two days, and then by Webber and Justin Wilson for the final day.

Wilson, the man who partnered Webber for the last five grands prix of the season, recently had his contract extended to the end of the year to allow him to test in November and December.

As well as a 2004 race driver, the Jaguar team may also have use for an additional test driver. Under the revised regulations for the 2004 season they will be allowed to run an extra third car in the Friday practice sessions at each grand prix.