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Vauxhall Motorsport's Yvan Muller finished the fifth official TOCA Test session of the season at Donington Park's 2.5-mile long circuit in the number one spot beating team-mate Jason Plato into second place by just eight hundredths of a second.
Muller had a productive morning trying different race set-ups on his Astra Coupe in preparation for Rounds 11 & 12 at Donington Circuit on July 1. Following a disjointed afternoon session which saw the red flag brought out a number of times, Muller commented: "I only managed to get a clear run of nine laps in the afternoon which is when we were trying to run full race distances. We were keeping a particular eye on the brakes. Donington is normally very, very hard on the brakes but unlike previous years, we have no water cooling and we are about 100kg heavier this year."
Jason Plato struggled with set-up in the morning session, but was the fastest man on the Donington track during the warm and sunny afternoon. His lack of grip in certain corners initially put him 6/10ths down on the Astra Coupe of team-mate, Muller. It was remedied by the afternoon, when he found over half a second to finish the day's test snapping at Muller's heels.
Triple Eight's Ian Harrison commented: "the aim today for all four Astra Coupe's was to concentrate on race distances and race set-ups as Donington can be hard on brakes. Despite the afternoon's disruptions we feel that we have come away with a pretty good indication of reliability and set-up for July's race."
Egg Sport Vauxhall Astra Coupe drivers, James Thompson and Phil Bennett completed the top four places ahead of the Peugeot's of Steve Soper and Dan Eaves.
<pre> TOCA Test - Donington Park - May 11 2001
1 Yvan Muller Vauxhall Astra Coup=E9 1m 42.477s (65 laps) 2 Jason Plato Vauxhall Astra Coup=E9 1:42.562 (62) 3 James Thompson Vauxhall Astra Coup=E9 1:43.219 (58) 4 Phil Bennett Vauxhall Astra Coup=E9 1:43.635 (32) 5 Steve Soper Peugeot 406 Coup=E9 1:43.918 (39) 6 Dan Eaves Peugeot 406 Coup=E9 1:44.189 (51)
Weather: Dry and sunny