Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda conducted a five day test in Jerez this week, using its full line-up of race and test drivers, as well as providing F3000 Champion, BjÃ¶rn Wirdheim, the opportunity of testing the B*A*R Honda 005. The team had two cars in...
Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda conducted a five day test in Jerez this week, using its full line-up of race and test drivers, as well as providing F3000 Champion, Björn Wirdheim, the opportunity of testing the B*A*R Honda 005. The team had two cars in action for the first four days, the '04 Concept car, and the B*A*R Honda 005, and just one car on the final day.
Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson drove at the Spanish track on Monday and Tuesday of this week before handing over driving duties to Jenson and Björn on Wednesday. The 2004 race driver line-up of Jenson and Takuma joined forces on Thursday before Takuma undertook a one-car wet tyre test on Friday.
The main objectives for the first four days were; to carry out a comprehensive tyre test on both wet and dry specification tyres, to continue assessment of the new rear-end package on the '04 Concept car, and to evaluate 23-year-old Swede, Wirdheim's potential as a test driver.
Today, the final day of the test, Takuma completed a wet tyre test in which the circuit was artificially dampened. All of the Michelin teams ran a single car to evaluate a selection of both shallow and extreme wet tyres on the controlled wet circuit. Takuma completed 117 laps in a single day, in the process recording the fastest time of the day with a 1:27.242.
Over the course of the five days, the team completed over 2500 kilometres of testing. The weather continued to play a big part in testing up until midday on Wednesday as heavy downpours restricted running. After that, however, the team was able to begin a long- awaited dry tyre and set-up programme. Both cars ran almost fault- free for the entire programme, and the team is extremely encouraged with the lap times from the test and the development of the '04 rear end package.
An FIA testing ban will now be imposed until 2 January. B*A*R will be back on track for a five day test in Jerez beginning 9 January. That test will be the start of an intensive programme running right up until the first round of the 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship, in Melbourne, on 7 March.
"Generally it went quite well although we had a problem on the second day which restricted my running. However, I did manage to do a couple of longer runs which was good and there is a lot of good work being done in terms of both performance and reliability, which is very encouraging. These pre-Christmas tests with the Concept car have been extremely useful and have given the team the confidence to continue pushing forward - we have clearly kept the momentum of the season going and the development of the car and engine package for '04 is quite impressive."
"We have done a lot of laps on this test, more than I was expecting. It has been a very good test as a whole. Even though we have had a lot of wet weather, and only a short amount of time in the dry, we have managed to complete some very valuable work. We must now be prepared for any kind of weather at a race so it is important to test in a variety of conditions. Everyone has been very well motivated since Suzuka and we are achieving our aims in testing. We are all now looking forward to testing again in January."
"It was disappointing not to get on the dry tyres, as I had been looking forward to that, especially after Idiada was rained off. However, it was great to get back in the car. I mainly worked on a tyre programme with the B*A*R Honda 005, but the new car ran without problems again, which is excellent. The rain was torrential at times but we still managed a full programme and achieved positive results. Pace-wise, we have been consistently fast which is encouraging for next year."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development:
"By completing another race weekend distance on the new engine we have been able to do some good work on the electronic control systems, so it has been a productive week. We have got a good base to build on in the New Year and we are really looking forward to the launch of the new car."