Period of Test: 17-20, 22-23 February 2003 Location: Four stages in south east Spain Surface: Gravel Purpose: General development test Weather: The first three days remained a steady 6-10ÂºC with a mixture of sunny intervals and rain showers.
Period of Test: 17-20, 22-23 February 2003
Location: Four stages in south east Spain
Purpose: General development test
Weather: The first three days remained a steady 6-10ºC with a mixture of sunny intervals and rain showers. Conditions deteriorated for the fourth day with temperatures down to 0-5ºC and snow showers. Temperatures increased again for the final two days to between 8-18ºC
Drivers: Pasi Hagstrom, Tommi Mäkinen
The Almeria province in the south east of Spain was the base for the latest 555 Subaru World Rally Team gravel development test, which started last Monday (17 February) and finished yesterday.
Team test driver Pasi Hagstrom completed two days of testing at the wheel of a Subaru Impreza WRC2003 test car on Monday and Tuesday, while on Wednesday and Thursday Tommi Mäkinen gained more experience of the new car on gravel before handing back to Pasi for Saturday and Sunday.
For the first two days the test road was a 4.5km loose gravel section, which was twisty in places. Pasi clocked up 350km, carrying out development work on the engine, transmission and dampers.
Tommi took the wheel on Wednesday and Thursday and undertook 349km of testing on two different roads. Both provided medium to high-speed sections and following on from Pasi's work, Tommi concentrated on more engine and drive train work. He also used the loose surface to refine the Impreza's configuration for this week's Rally of Turkey.
On Pasi's final two days of testing he completed a further 366km on one mixed surface stage in a military area in Almeria. Once again, effort was concentrated on engine, damper and transmission set-up, although some work was also carried out on tyre development and suspension.
Tommi Mäkinen has now joined up with team-mate Petter Solberg and the rest of the 555 Subaru World Rally Team to begin the reconnaissance for round three of the 2003 FIA World Rally Championship, the Rally of Turkey. The event begins with a start in Antalya at 1800hrs this Thursday, 27 February.
Tommi Mäkinen: "We made a lot of progress and had a very positive test. Pasi did a lot of work before I arrived and then when I was there I continued the development work. We did a lot on developing a new shock damper, as well as work on other things. We had one very difficult day with the weather and one good day. We managed to find a set-up that worked well in both of those conditions which was a good step forward. It was good to also have time to try out the set-up for Turkey, even though we are not exactly sure what to expect. Pasi did some more testing after I left and continued the work we had done on the first four days. I am very happy with the progress we made and am feeling confident as the new Impreza is working so well."