The Panasonic Toyota Racing team today kicked off a three-day test session at the 4.005-kilometre Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. For the first time, both race drivers Olivier Panis and Cristiano da Matta had a TF103 at their disposal and both men reported good progress after the opening day's action.
Olivier Panis - Car No. 20
Best lap time: 1m11.87s, 64 laps completed
Working on: General car set-up for Valencia, some Michelin tyre testing in afternoon.
"Once again, I had a very good feeling for the TF103 car like I had in Barcelona two weeks ago. It has been a generally productive day, although we still have some improvements to make on the car's balance for this track. Despite this, I feel that it has been a very positive start to the week and we have already set some encouraging lap times."
Cristiano da Matta - Car No. 21
Best lap time: 1m12.69s, 63 laps completed
Working on: First runs in TF103 in dry conditions, baseline set-up
"This is my first proper test with the new car after last week's washout at Paul Ricard. The car handled great straight away and, although we did not do too much in the way of set-up work, the car feels more stable and the traction is much better than the TF102B. The total package of chassis, engine and gearbox in the TF103 is really good, but we need to make some small adjustments to the position of my seat and the pedals."
Weather: Dry, hot and sunny. Air temperature 13-26°C.
Track: Dry all day. Track temperature 09-25°C
The second day of this week's Valencia test takes place tomorrow at Circuit Ricardo Tormo with Olivier Panis and Cristiano da Matta once again behind the wheel of the TF103s.
Upcoming test sessions
02-05 February 2003 Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain 11-13 February 2003 Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France