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Panasonic Toyota Racing

Australian Grand Prix - Free Practice Round-Up

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Today's Weather: Hot and sunny, air 30-37C, track 31-48C Toyota's Best Australian GP qualifying: 2nd, Jarno Trulli, 2005 Toyota's Best Australian GP race result: 3rd, Ralf Schumacher, 2006 Take Note: Today's TF108 is the specification tested in Barcelona last month, featuringrevised bodywork and mechanical improvements from the car rolled out in January.

Jarno Trulli (Car 11, Chassis TF108-02)
Summary: Trouble-free practice until late spin, 7th quickest in P2
P1 10th Best Lap Time: 1m 29.014s (+2.553s) Laps: 23
P2 7th Best Lap Time: 1m 28.292s (+1.733s) Laps: 22 "That was a difficult day because we have been trying to balance the car while fighting a bit with tyre graining. We tried some things to improve it but I'm not satisfied with the balance yet. I ended up in the gravel because I touched the grass near the end of the second session. Now I just hope we can have a better day tomorrow. We've made some good progress over the winter time and the testing we have done in Europe has been positive. The car seems more competitive, especially in race conditions, so I'm optimistic heading into the first grand prix of the season."

Timo Glock (Car 12, Chassis TF108-04)
Summary: Solid first day's practice for Toyota, taking 10th in P2
P1 8th Best Lap Time: 1m 28.913s (+2.452s) Laps: 16
P2 10th Best Lap Time: 1m 28.582s (+2.023s) Laps: 28 "This was my first day of running here in Australia and my first free practice session for Toyota so it was completely different to what I'm used to in GP2 and testing. So it was an unusual situation but overall it felt okay. It is still difficult for me in terms of getting the car right for my driving style. But we are continuously improving and today felt better than the last test so I can start to get a better feeling for the car. The last run wasn't too bad but I think everyone will be complaining about graining and it is the same for us."

Dieter Gass, Chief Engineer Race and Test "Overall it was a positive day for us but the sessions did not go without problems. It was a pity that Jarno spun because he was on a long run and we were collecting tyre data. We also had a problem with a wheel bearing on Timo's car this morning which is why he had to stop slightly early. Still, we can be quite satisfied with how the car behaved. It's hard to comment on how the cars line up because, as usual in Melbourne, the circuit was developing throughout the day as rubber went down. People were obviously running on different fuel levels so it will be hard to analyse today's timesheets. But I'm not expecting too many issues with the heat because everyone was prepared for similar conditions in Malaysia next week anyway."

Panasonic Toyota Racing, featuring… Double Act Debut This weekend marks the start of a new era for Panasonic Toyota Racing with its new driver line-up. Jarno and Timo have already built a strong working relationship, the combination providing a perfect blend of youth and experience. The positive energy created by the new pairing has been clear throughout winter testing, with the result that significant improvements have been made to TF108 set-up since the car was rolled out.
Team Manager Richard Cregan says: "It works both ways. You have a good transfer of knowledge from the more experienced driver to the younger driver but you have a very good shift of enthusiasm in the other direction because you know it's new and exciting."
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