Jordan-Peugeot were one of four teams testing at the Estoril circuit in Portugal this week. For Rubens Barrichello it was a first opportunity to sample Peugeot power and the Brazilian made the most of the opportunity, completing 119 laps over the course of 3 days. Peugeot's Super Tourisme Champion Laurent Aiello was also on hand, taking over from the Brazilian for the final day of running on Friday.
Peugeot had both 3.5 litre engines and the new 3.0 litre A10D on hand for Barrichello to try, but it was the 1994 spec 3.5 litre unit which was fitted to the interim Jordan 194 chassis for the first day on Tuesday. "We wanted to get a baseline against which to compare the 3.0 litre unit," explained Team Manager John Walton. "On day two, we fitted the 3 litre engine but with a slightly revised oil system to the one which we ran last week in Barcelona. We spent the day carrying out systems analysis on the engine before taking it out on Wednesday night so it could be returned to Paris for further inspection."
Rubens had been suitably impressed by both. He was second quickest overall on Tuesday, setting a best time of 1'20.47 with the 3.5 litre unit which he described as being "very strong". On Wednesday he recorded a 1'22.17 lap with the 3 litre engine, which put him fifth quickest on the time sheets. "I already knew that Eddie thought the engine was good, because I had spoken with him after Barcelona," said Rubens. "But Estoril is a different circuit, with different characteristics, and we were all keen to see how it went there. Straight away I could feel it was very good, particularly at the top end," he continued. "It had lots of power. All day we were changing things to improve the torque and each time we changed something it got better." He continued clutch testing with the 3.5 litre engine on Thursday before leaving Estoril that night en-route to the second Elf Master karting competition at Paris Bercy.
Rubens took with him a very favourable view of his first few days work with Peugeot. "Everyone is very professional," he said. "They are obviously trying very hard. They don't just sit around waiting for answers," he continued, "they are always working things out on their computers. And they have hundreds of computers! Also, my engineer is Portuguese so we got on well straight away. Actually, I think Jordan and Peugeot are going to get on very well," Rubens concluded. Once Barrichello had departed, Laurent Aiello got into the car to continue with the engine systems analysis work for a final day. He completed 31 laps on Friday, recording a best time of 1'22.12.
"All in all it was a pretty successful test," reported John Walton. "It all looks very promising at the moment. We will resume testing with the interim car in mid-January prior to launching the 195 at the end of the month."
1. Damon Hill Williams-Renault 1'19.5 Wednesday 2. David Coulthard Williams-Renault 1'19.6 Friday 3. Jules Boullion Williams-Renault 1'19.9 Friday 4. Rubens Barrichello Jordan-Peugeot 1'20.0 Thursday 5. Olivier Panis Ligier-Renault 1'20.6 Friday 6. Emmanuel Collard Williams-Renault 1'20.7 Wednesday 7. Michael Schumacher Ligier-Renault 1'20.8 Wednesday 8. Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha 3.5 lit. 1'21.1 Thursday 9. Ukyo Katayama Tyrrell-Yamaha 3.0 lit. 1'22.0 Friday 10. Laurent Aiello Jordan-Peugeot 1'22.1 Friday 11. Franck Lagorce Ligier-Renault 1'22.4 Friday 12. Mark Blundell Tyrrell-Yamaha 1'22.5 Wednesday 13. Jorg Muller Ligier-Renault 1'23.8 Friday 14. Max Papis Ligier-Renault 1'24.5 Thursday
By Louise Goodman, Jordan Media Relations
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