Panasonic Toyota Racing made the most of this week between the first two overseas legs of the 2003 championship with both racing drivers Cristiano da Matta and Olivier Panis consecutively at the wheel of the TF103 in Jerez for a four-day, one car test. The team worked on finalising preparations for the Malaysian Grand Prix and the following race in Brazil (06/04). Today's running was dedicated to a special wet tyre test for Michelin.
Olivier Panis - Car No. 20
Best lap time: 1m28.66, 70 laps completed
Working on: tyre programme for wet conditions
"Today was entirely run on an artificially wet track in order to carry out development work for our partner Michelin. Two trucks were basically pouring water on the track every forty minutes to keep it significantly wet. We learnt a lot today and certainly gathered valuable information ahead of Malaysia, where weather conditions can be relatively unstable. It might seem a bit of a tight schedule to come back to Europe between the two overseas races, but I feel it is important to contribute to our teamwork on the car's reliability and performance as early as possible in the season. And we had two productive days in that respect."
Weather: Sunny all day. Air temperature: 15-23ºC
Track: Artificially wet. Track temperature: 16-35ºC
The Panasonic Toyota Racing test team will now return to the headquarters in Cologne. The race crew, who stayed over in Australia for a few days, will now head to Malaysia, where they will start setting up at the Sepang International Circuit on Monday.
21-23 March 2003, Malaysian Grand Prix, Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur
26-28 March 2003, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain