Panasonic Toyota Racing completed its test at Barcelona today with Ralf Schumacher and Franck Montagny at the wheel. On Ralf’s first visit to the modified version of the Circuit de Catalunya, he tried out the new seamless shift gearbox for the first time and worked on set up for most of his day. Franck spent the morning doing long runs to check the car’s behaviour with different solutions. Late in the morning he stopped out on the track due to a gearbox control problem. The team took the chance to carry out a routine engine change and he returned to the track shortly after lunch. The Toyota team is next scheduled to have two weeks of testing at Bahrain beginning on February 22. This will be the first time that Toyota has tested at the circuit in the Middle East and it should give the team valuable warm weather data as it continues its preparations for the 2007 season.
Ralf Schumacher – Chassis TF107/03
Best Lap Time: 1m 23.789s
Total laps: 86
Total distance: 400.3km
"This was my first visit to the Barcelona track in its new format with the additional chicane in the final section. For sure it’s safer so they have achieved that objective very well but it’s very tight so it makes it a bit more difficult to drive the circuit. Today the conditions were very slippery due to the wind so it was a bit harder for the drivers. We went through pretty much everything we had planned today so that was a productive day for us. I also tried the new seamless shift gearbox for the first time. It is definitely a step forward and it worked well so we did a good job there. Now we have to keep pushing over the last few tests before the new season."
Franck Montagny – Chassis TF107/01
Best lap time: 1m 22.446s
Total laps: 113
Total distance: 526.0km
"I spent the morning doing long runs, looking at different solutions to the car behaviour over longer distances. Unfortunately I missed out on some running when I suffered a gearbox control problem and had to stop on the circuit. Before that it had been going quite well and we collected more information on long runs with these tyres. There may no longer be a tyre war but it is still useful to find out about the tyres we have in relation to individual circuits. My running continued after lunch and we were able to put in some more work on set-up. Overall it’s been a useful week and we’ve put a lot of mileage on the car to check its systems."
Dieter Gass, Chief Engineer Race and Test
"For Ralf this was the first chance to run with the new gearbox and to see the new modified circuit here in Barcelona. Because he only had one day of running here, he was focusing mainly on set-up work and not doing too many long runs. Franck suffered a gearbox control problem this morning so that meant he didn’t do all the running that we had planned. He was doing long runs and had already been interrupted by quite a few red flags, which was a pity. But then we created one of our own so we can’t really complain. Still, we will get some data from the interrupted long runs that he did. Overall in these three days we have worked very efficiently on the reliability of the car and we’ve gained some useful information on the car set-up. On the other hand we’ve also seen that we have a lot of work to do before Melbourne so we will continue to push hard."