Panasonic Toyota Racing returned to the track today for the second day of the week's test programme at Spa-Francorchamps with Ralf Schumacher in the cockpit. After yesterday's unlikely sunny weather, today was a return to typical conditions in the...
Panasonic Toyota Racing returned to the track today for the second day of the week's test programme at Spa-Francorchamps with Ralf Schumacher in the cockpit. After yesterday's unlikely sunny weather, today was a return to typical conditions in the Ardennes.
There was overnight rain at the circuit so some of the track was damp for the morning session. That delayed the start for Toyota because it is important not to waste mileage given the limitations in the 2007 testing regulations.
When the tarmac had dried shortly before 11am Ralf ventured onto the circuit to begin the programme of work on the engine, coolers and other systems. There was a heavy shower over lunch so the story was similar in the afternoon with another delayed start. Following further rain an hour later the team opted to do some wet running.
But there was too much variation in track conditions to allow any meaningful conclusions to be drawn. After yet another shower at 4pm the team carried out only a few practice starts to wrap up the day. The test concludes tomorrow with Jarno Trulli at the wheel.
"When it rains here like it did today it can be dry in one part of the circuit and wet in another, making it difficult to draw comparisons. Still, over these two days we've completed some positive work despite the weather. The car performed well overall so we can look forward to the race here with confidence. We were quick in Silverstone and this track has similar characteristics with a lot of high speed corners so it should suit us when we come here in September.
"The next race is at the Nurburgring, which is a completely different type of track, but we will obviously push as hard as we can to achieve a good result there too. Over the last few races I've become increasingly co mfortable with my set-up and the whole team is working hard as we chase a successful second half of the year."
Gerd Pfeiffer, Test Team Manager:
"It was a bit much to expect two rain-free days around Spa so today's weather came as no surprise. The track was damp in the morning so we delayed going out until the racing line was dry so as not to waste mileage. We eventually put in about 20 laps of work on systems in the morning before the rain arrived over lunch."
"As the afternoon progressed it became clear that the conditions would not improve so we decided to do some wet testing. Before long the track was wet in some areas and dry in others and that made it difficult to do any more productive work. On a day like this no one will have achieved a lot but we will hope for better conditions tomorrow when Jarno will complete the test for us."
Best lap time: 1m 48.534s
Total laps: 31
Total distance: 217.1km