Period of Test: 30 April - 3 May 2002 Location: Four test roads near Sospel, South of France Surface: Tarmac Purpose: General tarmac development test Weather: Days 1/2 - Dry and sunny conditions, temperatures 15-21Â°C Day 3 - Light rain ...
Period of Test: 30 April - 3 May 2002
Location: Four test roads near Sospel, South of France
Purpose: General tarmac development test
Days 1/2 - Dry and sunny conditions, temperatures 15-21°C
Day 3 - Light rain becoming torrential in the afternoon, temperature 13°C
Day 4 - Mainly dry, temperature 14°C
Drivers: Petter Solberg, Tommi Makinen, Toshihiro Arai
The 555 Subaru World Rally Team completed the latest stage of preparations for the remaining two asphalt rounds of the 2002 World Rally Championship - the Deutschland and Sanremo Rallies.
Team drivers Tommi Makinen, Petter Solberg and Toshihiro Arai drove a Subaru Impreza WRC2002 test car for a total of 646kms during the four day test which was held in the French Alps, near Sospel.
Petter Solberg was at the wheel for days one and two, and drove on two contrasting roads. Testing concentrated on evaluating the latest tyre developments from team partner Pirelli, as well as experimenting with engine, suspension and differential set-ups.
On day three Tommi Makinen was in the driving seat and the team moved to another road, again in the Sospel area. Risto Mannisenmaki, Tommi's regular co-driver who is currently still recovering from injuries sustained in an accident in Corsica last year, joined Tommi for the one day test. At the start of the day light rain descended on the test and the team used this opportunity to test new wet weather asphalt tyre advances, as well as differential, suspension and transmission settings. However, when the rain became torrential the team was forced to curtail the session.
Toshihiro Arai took over for the fourth and final day ahead of his 555 Subaru World Rally Team tarmac debut in Germany. The Japanese driver focussed on tyre testing and some other work on engine and brake set-up. He experienced mixed weather conditions that enabled him to optimise his testing with both wet and dry set-ups. Day four was an extended test to make up for the previous days' bad weather.
The team now turns its attention to the gravel stages in South America for round six of the WRC, Rally Argentina, which starts on 16 May.
Tommi Makinen: "It was a very useful test because we made progress and found a good set up for wet conditions but unfortunately we could not do the things that we had planned to do because of the very bad weather conditions. Things are looking positive for later in the year though."
Petter Solberg: "We did a lot of work with the tyres and then looked at the engine and differential set up. The test was mainly concentrating on small details to ensure the car is good on tarmac and I have to say it felt brilliant. We are just improving all the time and we are looking forward to the remaining tarmac events."
Toshihiro Arai: "The set up of the car is feeling very good now and the car is easier to drive than it was last season. We did a lot of tyre work and hopefully managed to make up for the fact that Tommi lost the opportunity to test dry weather tyres the day before."