1500 Kms Of Test For The Ford Focus

Tom Chilton, Team Aon
Tom Chilton, Team Aon

Photo by: Team Aon

Team Aon completed a comprehensive test schedule ahead of their first WTCC campaign with the 1.6 litre turbocharged Ford Focus. The team and drivers Tom Chilton and James Nash, spent three different test sessions in Spain (Valencia and Guadix) and Portugal (Estoril), working on engine mapping, focusing on engine durability and getting used to the new chassis.

They managed to complete over 1500 kms without any issues and now look forward to the start of the season.

Having developed the car over the off season and after putting in a vast amount of mileage during the three test sessions, Tom Chilton said: "I'm very happy with the work we have done so far with the new car, the package is improving day by day which is really positive. The WTCC car is an evolution of the BTCC car, and the chassis is sensitive to small changes which is a good sign we have built a great race car."

Driving the car the first time and getting to know Team Aon, James Nash added: "I've bonded with the team well over the three test sessions and we've had a really positive test schedule. The team put a lot of miles on the car and we worked on a variety of different components. The chassis and engine feels great - I can't wait to get out on track at Monza."

Lukoil Racing Complete Test In Portugal

The Lukoil Racing Team have also completed their pre-season test programme with two days at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão.

Once again Gabriele Tarquini and Aleksei Dudukalo took turns at the wheel of the team's SEAT León 1.6 turbo car, under the supervision of SEAT Sport's Chief engineer Xavier Serra.

"It was a very useful test," Tarquini explained. "We ran for more than 2000 km with the same engine without the least technical issue. It was very encouraging, as engine reliability will be everybody's priority in 2012. I have mainly worked on the engine mapping, keeping on with the work we had started in Spain. I always drove on used tyres and did not care too much about the chassis set-up, because we already have enough data."

Dudukalo focused on taking the most out new tyres, in order to improve his qualifying performances.

The team will hit the track again at Monza on March 8, on the official testing day.

"At Portimão we have made another step forward and we have also indentified what to do for further improving the engine efficiency. The mapping for Monza have been decided and we will use the WTCC test day to fix the final details," Tarquini concluded.