IMOLA, ITALY, February 1, 2002 - KL Minardi Asiatech today successfully debuted its 2002 Formula One challenger at the historic Circuit Enzo e Dino Ferrari, near the team's Faenza base, in eastern Italy. The KL Minardi Asiatech PS02 was entrusted...
IMOLA, ITALY, February 1, 2002 - KL Minardi Asiatech today successfully debuted its 2002 Formula One challenger at the historic Circuit Enzo e Dino Ferrari, near the team's Faenza base, in eastern Italy. The KL Minardi Asiatech PS02 was entrusted to Alex Yoong for its first public outing, the young Malaysian driver assisting the team's engineers to carry out systems checks before putting in some longer runs. He completed a total of 20 trouble-free laps during the afternoon.
The new car is significantly different from its predecessor, the PS01, the most obvious external change being the shape. The PS02 benefits from the extensive experience of the team's chief aerodynamicist, Loic Bigois, and his technical staff, plus considerable time spent in wind tunnels at Casumaro, Italy, and Southampton, England. Compared with the 2001 car, the KL Minardi Asiatech PS02 features a more raised nose section, reshaped and extended engine cover, and higher sidepods with different inlets. Beneath the curvaceous bodywork, there is an all-new "floor", optimised to work in conjunction with the latest slim-line version of Minardi's unique, titanium-cased gearbox. In terms of mechanical layout, the most notable alteration to the 2002 car is the use of pushrod rather than pullrod-operated front suspension.
Also new this season is the Asiatech AT02 V10 engine. Aside from being more powerful, it is also lighter and more compact than the unit it replaces, making it easier for the team's designers to accommodate all the necessary ancillaries around the engine. Additionally, it is more efficient in terms of cooling requirements.
"I will admit to feeling very excited before getting into the KL Minardi Asiatech PS02 this afternoon. The team has put a great deal of hard work into the new car, and it shows. Today was purely a shakedown, with serious testing beginning in Valencia next week, but even so, it was possible to feel the potential. I was particularly pleased with how comfortable I felt in the cockpit, and am now looking forward to some serious running in Spain."
Gabriele Tredozi, Technical Director
"We are very satisfied with the way the new car has come together and the way this first shakedown test has gone. We are benefiting in particular from the fact that we have had ample 'lead-time' to work on the whole package. For example, we understood well what areas of last season's car we wanted to improve, we have known for some time what engine we are using, and we have been able to spend many useful hours in the wind tunnel developing the aerodynamic package for the PS02. As a result, we are far ahead of where we were at this time last year."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal
"We're proud and pleased that the new car had a successful debut today. The initial technical feedback suggests we have made identifiable progress in a number of areas, in particular, the engine, courtesy of Asiatech's new AT02 V10, and aerodynamic performance, which is the result of an intensive wind-tunnel programme undertaken by the team over the last six months. It's early days yet, but we believe there is a genuine opportunity for KL Minardi Asiatech to achieve its aim of scoring World Championship points this season. We will continue testing through the month of February and look forward with great anticipation to Melbourne, where we will be able to gauge the progress we have made and see if it has put us ahead of some of our rivals on the grid."