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Kanaan to test BAR at Jerez 20 Sep 2005

(L to R): Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Ferrari talks with Tony Kanaan (BRA) IRL Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, United States Grand Prix, Practice Day, Indianapolis, USA, 17 June 2005

Reigning Indy Racing League champion, Tony Kanaan, will join BAR at the Jerez Circuit in southern Spain next week for the opportunity to drive the team’s current Honda-powered 007 car.

Kanaan has been invited by BAR and Honda to gain his first experience of a Formula One car in recognition of his IRL Indy Car achievements in 2004. He has a long-standing association with Honda, having driven for Honda-powered teams in the North American CART and IRL series since 1998.

“I feel honoured to have this opportunity,” said Kanaan. “My relationship with Honda is quite long-standing and having this chance means a lot to me. Honda is and will always be part of my life. We did a great job together last year and this is recognition of the really hard work that went into that.”

BAR’s sporting director Gil de Ferran is highly familiar with Kanaan’s achievements, as he used to race against him: “I was aware of Tony’s close relationship with Honda whilst we were competing against each other in the United States and using the same Honda engines. I am very pleased that we are able to give Tony his first taste of an F1 car and it will certainly be an honour for us to run a reigning champion from the extended Honda Racing family.”

Kanaan will test at Jerez on Thursday September 29 before heading back to North America for the final round of this year’s IRL series in which he is currently lying in second position, behind Britain’s Dan Wheldon, with two race wins.