Location: Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France
Drivers: Olivier Panis, Ricardo Zonta
Track Length: 3.818km
Following an action-packed Australian Grand Prix and an impressive third place finish for the team, Panasonic Toyota Racing returned to Europe to begin its three-day test at the Circuit Paul Ricard in France. Ricardo Zonta came back from Australia to join team mate Olivier Panis at the first of two tests before the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola. Both drivers were on track today concentrating on set-up and tyre work for the coming European races.
HAPPY GO LUCKY
Ricardo Zonta found today's testing to be the year's best so far.
Ricardo Zonta - Chassis TF106/01
Best Lap Time: 1m05.291s
Total laps: 142
Total Distance: 542.156km
"I am really happy with today's results. We worked on aerodynamic scans and tyre tests. From this, we learned a lot and showed that we had a good lap time, which is the best we have done at Paul Ricard. Therefore, in my opinion this was the best day of testing this year because we found some really positive results. Tomorrow we will work on the tyre programme more extensively for Imola to be able to make the tyre choice for the race."
Olivier Panis is confident about the team's test results and is enthusiastic to continue on tomorrow preparing for the next race.
Olivier Panis - Chassis TF106/02
Best Lap Time: 1m05.754s
Total laps: 109
Total Distance: 416.162km
"Today was a good day, putting in a good amount of laps. Today I was driving with the old aerodynamic package testing various items, like balance set-ups and traction control scans. Tomorrow, the car will be set up with the new chassis and therefore we have a bigger tyre test programme planned. The last test really helped us to move in the right direction and I feel the test team did a great job pushing hard to prepare for the last race. The results were positive for the team, but we still have to keep going to be fully competitive."
LET THE SUN SHINE DOWN
Finally after numerous tests, Panasonic Toyota Racing can work without having reservations about the day's weather forecast.
Gerd Pfeiffer, Test Team Manager
"In comparison to the last tests, the least amount of worries went into the weather forecast. The day turned out to be pleasant with temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius, which are similar to race conditions at Imola therefore allowing us to get through quite a number of test items. Tomorrow we will concentrate on tyre testing and trying different constructions in order to make the tyre choice for San Marino. Our major goal for this and the next test is to continue our development for the coming races."