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GP Week : Issue 95
Test driver Soucek leaves Virgin .... REIGNING Formula Two champion Andy Soucek has quit his job as Virgin Racing's test and reserve driver as he looks to return to racing after almost a year out of the cockpit. Recent reports suggest his departure was over a lack of cockpit time in Virgin's VR-01 machine, but a statement released by the Spaniard's management insist the parting was done on good terms: "Andy and the Team have mutually agreed to conclude his contractual obligations to Virgin Racing so that Andy can concentrate on racing in other categories," read Soucek's statement. "Andy has enjoyed his time with Virgin Racing, and both sides have parted on good terms, wishing each other well for the future." After winning the inaugural FIA Formula Two championship last year, Soucek graduated to the test and reserve driver role at Virgin when Alvaro Parente's sponsors pulled out, forcing the team to let him go. Even though Soucek brought over €1m in sponsorship to Virgin, he did not get the car mileage he had hoped, and even recently took part in a Superleague Formula event to stay race fit. Speaking later in the week to the AS newspaper, Soucek confirmed he departed on good terms: "I've left Virgin by mutual agreement," he insisted. "I asked them to given me the opportunity to continue racing in other categories and they accepted. It was friendly and nothing to do with payments or non-payments." It is expected that Virgin's fourth driver, Brazilian GP2 driver Luiz Razia, will be promoted to test and reserve driver. Insists departure was on good terms 8