Super Aguri pull out of trials amid search for fresh backing

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The Independent Online

The struggling Super Aguri Formula One team have pulled out of this week's final pre-season test in Barcelona as talks continued with potential investors. The principal, Aguri Suzuki, said the Honda-backed team had made the decision not to test pending ongoing negotiations. The team had planned to run two cars at the Circuit de Catalunya before heading to Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix on 16 March.

Suzuki has been in Japan since last week discussing the way forward for a team who, despite support from Honda, have the smallest budget in Formula One and who limped through to the end of last season with little funding after non-payment by a key sponsor. The decision to scrap the final test means Aguri would turn up in Australia with a car that had covered far less mileage than its rivals.

Although they have yet to name their driver line-up, Japan's Takuma Sato and the Briton Anthony Davidson are expected to return for them. However, Sato and Davidson have each taken part in just one test since December, in an interim car. Aguri also cancelled their last planned test this month as well as the launch of the new SA08 car, which has passed the mandatory crash test.

Force India's 2008 car made its track debut at the Barcelona circuit yesterday. However, their technical head Mike Gascoyne said the late appearance of the VJM01 would not be a disadvantage.