Prodrive Ferrari February testing notes

Prodrive Ferrari take to the tracks. The Prodrive Ferrari 550 Maranello GTS challenger this week took to the tracks for the first time in 2003 with Czech driver Tomas Enge at the wheel. An intensive testing programme has been organised prior...

Prodrive Ferrari take to the tracks.

The Prodrive Ferrari 550 Maranello GTS challenger this week took to the tracks for the first time in 2003 with Czech driver Tomas Enge at the wheel.

An intensive testing programme has been organised prior to the first race of the season, the 12 Hours of Sebring, Florida, and it began on Monday, 3rd February with two days at the Lurcy Levis track in France and then two days at Misano in Italy.

Team Principal George Howard-Chappell summed up what turned out to be a somewhat frustrating and character-building week: "We had a fairly heavy list of things to try including aerodynamic work at Lurcy and tyre testing and driver familiarisation laps at Misano.

"The weather was against us from the start, being very windy, cold and wet in France. Sometimes you make big gains with aero work and sometimes you don't and this week leaned towards the latter. Having said that, we found a few things which actually made the car worse but that's a positive as it has taught us what to do next time.

"We moved on to Misano and planned to do Michelin tyre testing yesterday and driver familiarisation today. An electronic gremlin delayed us for a couple of hours in the morning but we resolved that and were full steam into the tyre runs.

"Unfortunately Tomas had a racing accident during the afternoon which damaged the chassis reasonably severely. With limited resources available to us at the track, we decided it was prudent to cut short the test and return to the factory for repairs. It wouldn't have been fair or sensible to give a driver his first laps without us being 100% sure of the set up of the car. We are going to reschedule the test as soon as possible and continue with our preparations for Sebring."

Tomas Enge was disappointed and perplexed about the accident which took place on the exit of a slow, 2nd gear corner. "I don't really know how it happened. When we looked at the data afterwards, it showed that I wasn't pushing any harder than I had on any other run, and this was the sixth set of tyres we'd tested. They were brand new and unscrubbed but I don't want to put any blame on the tyres. It was just one of those things which happen sometimes - very disappointing, but part of racing."

-pr-

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