Panasonic Toyota Racing enjoyed a solid day's work at the Circuit de Catalunya as it continued its preparations for the 2007 season. Jarno Trulli and Franck Montagny were at the wheel of the TF107, looking to make the most of the track time available. The morning was cloudy and a rain shower after lunch ensured that much of the second half of the day took place on a damp track.
This was the first time that Toyota has run at Barcelona since the circuit layout was changed over the winter. A new chicane has been added just before the final corner, extending the length of the track and adding several seconds to the lap time. The change has been made with safety in mind and the new section features improved run-off areas and barriers. The Toyota team will continue testing at the modified Barcelona circuit tomorrow. Jarno
"The changes to the Circuit de Catalunya mean that the track has now lost two of its quick corners at the end of the lap. I would say that the changes have certainly improved things when it comes to safety. One of our main tasks for today was to put mileage on our new gearbox. We put in quite a lot of laps in dry conditions and we managed more of the same after the rain in the afternoon."
"But the conditions meant that it was another difficult day for testing. This morning the track was low on grip and there was a lot of gusting wind, which played quite a big role. The shower at lunch meant that the track was drying in the afternoon and conditions were inconsistent. So far this winter I have had a lot of interrupted tests so I look forward to a better day tomorrow."
"Today was a busy day because the conditions were very different to what we had last week in Jerez. That meant we had to look carefully at tyre temperatures and we had a lot to learn. It was slippery out there and the weather changed throughout the day. There was strong wind and rain so that made direct comparisons difficult in the afternoon."
"The car didn't feel too bad and it's been very good in terms of tyre degradation. This was the first time for us here at the new track with the new layout for turns 14-15. From a driving point of view it is not a fun section of track, particularly when the circuit is low on grip as it was today. But I think it will be more interesting for the fans because you can maybe overtake at the entry to the chicane so there will be more action."
Dieter Gass, Chief Engineer Race and Test:
"This was the first time that we have run at the circuit in its modified version. The new section doesn't really affect the nature of the track too much but the main target was to improve safety and that should be achieved. The weather played a big part today but the rain was forecast and we amended our schedule accordingly."
"We've got through a lot of laps today, which is good because one of our main targets for this period is to achieve good reliability for the first race. We have also done some set-up work and found out more about the new car because Barcelona is a representative track to do that. The tyres seem to behave very consistently and even though there is a tendency for rear drop-off you can see the lap times keep improving through the runs."
Best lap time: 1m 23.239s
Total laps: 73
Total distance: 339.8km
Best Lap Time: 1m 24.015s
Total laps: 64
Total distance: 297.9km