Period of Test: 20-21 March 2003 Location: Two stages in the Lake District, UK Surface: Gravel Purpose: General development test Weather: Day 1: 2-13C, misty, damp and cold then sunny in the afternoon Day 2: 6-16C, clear and cool then warm in...
Period of Test: 20-21 March 2003
Location: Two stages in the Lake District, UK
Purpose: General development test
Day 1: 2-13C, misty, damp and cold then sunny in the afternoon
Day 2: 6-16C, clear and cool then warm in the afternoon
Drivers: Tommi Makinen, Petter Solberg
The 555 Subaru World Rally Test Team travelled to the Lake District for the second time in less than a month last week to undertake a two-day gravel development test. Regular team drivers Tommi Makinen and Petter Solberg took the wheel for one day each and between them completed 372 kilometres of loose surface testing.
The first day of the test saw Tommi Makinen notch up 180 kilometres in a Subaru Impreza WRC2003 test car. He drove on a 2.7km stage with a loose covering of gravel and a damp but hard base. Tommi tested three prototype tyres from Pirelli before looking at refining transmission, suspension and engine set-ups for his New Zealand specification car.
Petter Solberg took over driving duties for the second and final day of the test. He carried out a further 192 kilometres on a fast 3.1km road, which featured a twisty section and hairpin bend. Like Tommi, Petter tested some of Pirelli's newest tyre compounds before testing his set-up for New Zealand.
As FIA legislation outlaws testing on long-haul events such as New Zealand, the UK test was Tommi and Petter's last chance to drive the Impreza WRC2003 before next month's rally. The event will be based in Auckland, on New Zealand's North Island, and will run from 11-13 April.
Tommi Makinen: "My engineer Michael Zotos sat in the co-drivers seat for this test. It was a good opportunity for him to understand what I am looking for and it went very well. We looked at tyres and set-up for New Zealand as well as ways to generally improve the car. We were actually very lucky as the weather was nice and it is not always easy to find good weather conditions at this time of year."
Petter Solberg: "The test for me was really a chance for a final warm up before New Zealand. I was able to adapt the set up of the car a little to suit a fast rally - I made some small modifications to the transmission and suspension. It was a good day and we had perfect weather conditions in Cumbria, no rain at all."