F1

Australian GP: Toyota Thursday notes

Panasonic Toyota Racing kicks off 2009 season in Australia Panasonic Toyota Racing got its 2009 season off to an early start with a range of off-track activities for drivers Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock in Australia. As the first race of the ...

Panasonic Toyota Racing kicks off 2009 season in Australia

Panasonic Toyota Racing got its 2009 season off to an early start with a range of off-track activities for drivers Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock in Australia.

As the first race of the season, the Australian Grand Prix is traditionally a busy start and 2009 was no different with a series of activities before the cars even turned a wheel in anger at Albert Park.

Timo was the first Panasonic Toyota Racing driver to arrive in Australia so he was in action first, on Monday at the Calder Park raceway near Melbourne, trying out a driving style he will not be using when he gets behind the wheel of the TF109.

He joined the Toyota V6 HiLux Heroes stunt driving team and was shown how to drive the HiLux on two wheels by world record holder Lawrence 'Legend' Ryan. Timo quickly got to grips with the challenge and on his final run managed to keep the HiLux on two wheels for an impressive 60 metres.

He then moved on to formation driving and doughnuts, clearly enjoying the experience. "It was a lot of fun but I think it would be a little hard to drive a Formula 1 car on two wheels!" he said.

While team-mate Jarno met Australian Toyota fleet customers on Tuesday, Timo was again in entertaining form, this time in front of fans at Melbourne's iconic Federation Square.

To add to the Formula 1 buzz in the city, Timo gave his thoughts on the new season and signed autographs for the enthusiastic locals. Jarno added to the buzz among the local media with exclusive events, including one focused on his Podere Castorani wines.

There was more to come on Wednesday, when Timo showed off the fitness required to be a Formula 1 driver by training on St Kilda beach and then in a city centre gym.

By Wednesday afternoon both drivers were at the track to meet and chat with children from the Camp Quality charity as part of a joint effort with the team's official supplier RE/MAX. Camp Quality provides support for children with cancer and the drivers chatted and signed autographs before offering a rare glimpse into a Formula 1 pit.

In the evening Timo brushed up on his poker skills with a celebrity tournament - for fun, not money - at the Crown Towers casino, facing fellow Formula 1 drivers Robert Kubica and Giancarlo Fisichella as well as Australian cricket legend Shane Warne and former poker world champion Joe Hachem.

-credit: toyota

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