Panasonic Toyota Racing scored a strong finish in today's Belgian Grand Prix, with both of its TF102s passing the chequered flag in the top 10. After a solid start to the weekend, Mika Salo gave his all throughout the 44-lap race and almost brought home another point, crossing the line in 7th place. Allan McNish struggled with some inconsistency in his car's balance but still managed to finish 9th.
Mika Salo - Car No. 24
Position: P7 - 44 laps completed
"It was a pretty good race for me and the team. Our pit-stops were very good, and we had no particular problems. I think I drove well and I made no mistakes. I was absolutely on the limit from start to finish and we were really close to score a point. It is obviously extremely frustrating to finish 0.4s off sixth place."
Allan McNish - Car No. 25
Position: P9 - 43 laps completed
"I had quite an eventful race and good fights with other drivers. We had a little problem with the wheel sensor that affected the traction control and therefore my car's consistency, but we had no other major worry. I am happy for the team that we brought both cars home in the top 10. This takes us to the last three races in a positive frame of mind."
Ove Andersson - Team President
"This was another good race for us. It has been some time since we have been so close to a World Championship point. Both cars were very reliable and ended up in the top 10. I think the team and both drivers did a very good job. Monza in two weeks time will be a new challenge. Although we have had several test days there, it is difficult to predict how we will perform in the race."
Weather: Slightly overcast all day
T-car : TF102/06 set up for Mika Salo
Both drivers ended up 10th and 11th in free practice on Friday, and the team achieved its 2nd best combined qualifying result this season on Saturday with Mika and Allan securing 9th and 13th place respectively on the grid.
The Panasonic Toyota racing team will take part in a test session at the Monza circuit this week in preparation for the Italian Grand Prix. Allan McNish will test all four days, Stéphane Sarrazin on Tuesday and Wednesday, and Mika Salo on Thursday and Friday.