Platzhalter Motorsport

Panasonic Toyota Racing: GP of Belgium - Free Practice Round-Up

Grand Prix of Belgium - Free Practice Round-Up

Olivier Panis (Car 17, Chassis TF104/09B)
First Session Classification: 19th, 10 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m48.834s (+3.730s)
Second Session Classification: 14th, 17 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m46.528s (+1.827s)

"I am pleased to back here in Spa-Francorchamps. To go through Eau Rouge flat out is always an emotional experience and the whole circuit is amazing. I think we did a good job today. We compared different tyre compounds and set-ups and we have a good idea what we need to run for Sunday's race. It appears as if the weather will be worse tomorrow, so we had a lot to fit into today's two sessions. We just need to keep working on things overnight. I am sorry for Ryan but he got out without any pain, so that is good news."

Ricardo Zonta (Car 16, Chassis TF104/10B)
First Session Classification: 18th, 12 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m48.642s (+3.538s)
Second Session Classification: 15th, 20 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m46.902s (+2.201s)

"It was quite a busy opening day in Spa-Francorchamps. The behaviour of the tyres at this track makes a big difference to the level of performance, so we decided to spend today's two practice sessions working on finding the best Michelin compound for the weekend. We were much more focused on race preparations today because the weather is very uncertain for tomorrow's sessions and we did not want to lose valuable time."

Ryan Briscoe (Car 38, Chassis TF104/07)
First Session Classification: 10th, 21 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m47.506s (+2.402s)
Second Session Classification: 19th, 9 laps completed
Lap Time: 1m47.634s (+2.933s)

Ryan is currently undergoing precautionary checks in hospital and is planned to return to the track tomorrow morning.

Mike Gascoyne - Technical Director Chassis
"An eventful first day for Panasonic Toyota Racing. Most importantly, Ryan is fine following his accident. He was taken to hospital for a precautionary scan on his arm, but everything appears okay. We saw from the data once we got the car back that his car had picked up a tyre puncture, which caused him to spin. It was unfortunate because Ryan had been running particularly well and consistently throughout the day. We had no problems on the other two cars and we were able to make the tyre choice very early. After that, we concentrated on getting a good set-up for the race on Sunday. We are very pleased with the work carried out and we are confident for the weekend. We just have to see what the weather will do."

Full results on Friday's free practice sessions can be found on Panasonic Toyota Racing's media website