Panasonic Toyota Racing achieved their 2nd best qualifying result this season after Monaco. After an encouraging Friday free practice, both drivers continued to improve their cars' balance throughout this morning's session. This paid off this afternoon when Mika Salo secured 9th position on the grid, and Allan 13th.
Mika Salo - Car No. 24
Position: 9th, 1m45.880s, 12/12 laps completed
"Low-speed circuits are behind us and we can now make full use of our engine power. We had a chance here, we took it and I am really happy with today's performance. We only did minor adjustments to the car in qualifying and changed the tyre pressures for my last run, the best one. We are back in the race again."
Allan McNish - Car No. 25
Position: 13th, 1m46.619s, 12/12 laps completed
"We continued working on the car's set-up during qualifying, but unfortunately we did not find the right tyre pressure for my last run. But the session went well for me overall. The car feels very consistent in race trim and Spa offers real chances to overtake, so I feel rather confident for tomorrow."
Norbert Kreyer - General Manager Engine Department
"Both cars ran with the latest engine specification today, and the team is very satisfied with its performance. Spa is a power circuit that requires a strong and reliable engine, especially on the uphill section of Le Raidillon that has to be taken at full throttle. We are all pleased with today's outcome."
Weather: Slightly overcast.
Temperatures: Air - Min 18°C, Max 26°¡C
Track - Min 19°C, Max 30°C
Average humidity 63.3 %
T-car: TF102/06 set up for Allan McNish
Mika and Allan ended yesterday's free practice session in 10th and 11th positions setting a best time of 1m49.260s and 1m49.560s respectively. The team almost managed to complete the scheduled programme, despite reduced running time due to fog in the morning.