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Minardi sign Bruni as reserve driver 23 Jul 2003

Minardi has announced the immediate signing of Italian Gianmaria Bruni as official test and reserve driver for the remainder of the 2003 Formula One season. Bruni will participate in Friday morning test sessions during Grand Prix weekends, as well as in the official Monza Formula One test, scheduled for September 2-4.

Bruni's inclusion in the Faenza squad's line-up has been made possible by the support of a group of Italian investors, who requested Minardi to assess the driver market and to select and provide the opportunity for a young Italian to demonstrate his talent on the international stage in order to develop into a future star of the sport.

"Naturally enough, this group of investors spoke with several teams concerning their proposed project," explained Minardi team principal, Paul Stoddart. "In the end, however, we're pleased to say they chose Minardi because of the natural fit between the team and their objective.

"Initial discussions took place over a year ago with Gian Carlo Minardi, who is heavily involved with formulating our young driver development strategy, and we have now had the chance to make our choice.

"'Gimmy', as he likes to be called, has been a winner in Italian and European-level motor racing championships, currently lies second in the F3000 European Championship, and is clearly a very talented driver who is ready to make the final step to Formula One. I'm sure he is going to be a great addition to the team."

Bruni's signing in the second announced by Minardi in as many days. On Monday they revealed that Dane Nicolas Kiesa will race for the team for the remainder of the 2003 season, following Justin Wilson's move to Jaguar.

In a related development, the man Wilson replaces at Jaguar, Antonio Pizzonia, has confirmed that he will not be accepting the reserve and test driver role offered to him by the team.