Panasonic Toyota Racing resumed testing today at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona for its first on-track action since the 2007 season ended in Brazil on 21 October. Jarno Trulli and third driver Franck Montagny were at the wheel on a cloudy morning in Spain, although Jarno waited until 11am to begin serious running as he was suffering from a fever. Franck was scheduled to test the standard engine control unit (ECU), which all teams must use in 2008, for the first time on track but teething troubles delayed the start of his session. Several red flags interrupted Jarno’s running while Franck’s crew worked hard to rectify his problem and allow him to begin work. Franck was able to do some solid running in the afternoon, putting 2008 items to the test as well as gathering information about the standard ECU. Jarno’s programme of evaluating elements of the 2008 car went according to plan until just over an hour from the end of the session, when an engine problem left him stran ded on track and effectively finished his day.
Jarno Trulli - Chassis TF107/03
Best Lap Time: 1min 23.624s
Total laps: 47
Total distance: 218.785km
"It was nice to be back behind the wheel apart from the fact I was a bit sick today with a fever, so it wasn’t the best way to get back in the car. But we managed to go through all of my programme and we looked at developments for the 2008 car, working without traction control and looking at other test items. In general it was a smooth day apart from my engine problem at the end, which was a shame. We have two more days remaining so we will continue to work hard and try to make as much progress as possible."
Franck Montagny - Chassis TF107/06
Best Lap Time: 1min 23.861s
Total laps: 61
Total distance: 283.995km
"Obviously we didn’t run as much as we expected this morning but at least in the afternoon we were able to start our programme and learn a few things. It was good to be driving again after quite a long break and I think we made some progress understanding the new ECU. My car has several 2008 items fitted so it was quite different to the 2007 car, but it felt well balanced and I was quite happy with it towards the end of the day. We will run a similar programme tomorrow and try to learn more."
Gerd Pfeiffer, Test Team Manager
"Today has been a productive day, even if it has also been a difficult one. We had several new elements on the cars looking forward to next season, including the standard ECU and other items for 2008. Jarno was not feeling well today but he completed the work we had planned for him before he suffered an engine problem towards the end of the afternoon. Franck’s car used the 2008 engine control unit and we needed to do a bit of work in the morning to get him out on track. Nevertheless, he gathered important data in the afternoon and we will continue where we left off tomorrow."