Platzhalter Motorsport

Panasonic Toyota Racing

Japanese Grand Prix - Free Practice Round-Up

Today's Weather: Dry and bright apart from a brief shower between sessions. Air 21-22°C, track 28-36°C
Toyota's Best Japanese GP qualifying: 1st Ralf Schumacher 2005
Toyota's Best Japanese GP race result: 6th Jarno Trulli 2006
Take Note: Jarno Trulli has a new helmet design this weekend after a competition run by Panasonic. The design, which was chosen by Jarno from a wide range of hopefuls, features a picture of Mount Fuji and is the work of 11-year-old Japanese schoolgirl Yōu Terano. Timo's helmet also has new artwork here at Fuji Speedway, including images of the Japanese flag and other Japanese characters.

Timo Glock (Car 12, Chassis TF108-07)
Summary: Full day, learning the track early on before setting the fastest time in the afternoon
P1 18th Best Lap Time: 1m 20.823s (+1.913s) Laps: 37
P2 1st Best Lap Time: 1m 18.383s (fastest) Laps: 44
"That was a good day. This was the first time I have driven at the Fuji Speedway so I had to learn the track this morning. It didn't take too long - two or three laps, but it's not an easy circuit. It's especially difficult to find the right compromise for the long high speed straight and the last sector which is very technical. But we sorted out a lot of stuff and we brought everything together for the second practice, which went well. I had a nice lap near the beginning of the session and it's great for the team to end up quickest on Friday here in Japan. So far I'm happy and it would be nice to keep the position like this for the whole weekend. That will obviously be difficult but hopefully the local fans will give us an extra boost."

Jarno Trulli (Car 11, Chassis TF108-05)
Summary: Another busy Friday, ending up with the 10th quickest lap of the day
P1 15th Best Lap Time: 1m 20.657s (+1.747s) Laps: 33
P2 10th Best Lap Time: 1m 18.863s (+0.480s) Laps: 45
"Today was a nice, smooth day. We tested several things in order to improve the car's performance. Timo and I carried out different programmes in order to collect data from all areas of the car and it went well. This is Toyota's home race so it is an important event for us. There is no extra pressure but we just really want to do well in front of our home fans. As a team we get a lot of support in Japan but the local people have also been big fans of me personally down the years. They always give me a great welcome and the support gives extra motivation for me to get a good result for them. We've been unlucky to miss out on points in recent races so I hope that turns around this weekend."

Dieter Gass, Chief Engineer Race and Test
"It's always nice to have everybody behind us on the timesheets - especially considering the fact that we did our best time early in the afternoon session when the circuit was still not at its best. Apart from that we had a very productive day. We had a lot of new parts on the car which we tried successfully in both practice sessions and we collected some interesting results from that. So where we are today is a very good baseline to look forward to the rest of the weekend. Needless to say we will be working as hard as ever to come away with a good result in front of our home crowd."

Panasonic Toyota Racing, featuring... One Team, One Aim: Cultures Combine at Panasonic Toyota Racing
Panasonic Toyota Racing may be based in Cologne, Germany, but its spiritual heart is back in Japan so this weekend is a very special event. The bond has been strengthened in recent years with the increasing adoption of the Toyota Way, of which Kaizen - or continuous improvement - is a cornerstone. With over 30 different nationalities among the 650 or so staff at the factory, Panasonic Toyota Racing is a United Nations of F1. Chairman and Team Principal Tadashi Yamashina believes this mix is what gives the team its unique potential, adding: "The strength of the Japanese engineers is that they have lots of experience of working in the Toyota Way. The strength of the European and other engineers is that they have been working in F1 and motorsport for many years. We combine their respective strengths, so the Japanese engineers teach their counterparts when the Toyota style of working is most appropriate, and learn from the local engineers when the Formula 1 approach is best, feeding
what they've learned back to Japan."
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