BAR happy with Jerez test

British American Racing were pleased with their progress after the recent three-day F1 test at Jerez in southern Spain

BAR happy with Jerez test

The team worked on reliability and gave regular test drivers Darren Manning and Patrick Lemarie a significant number of miles in the Honda powered 02.

"Darren had his first proper run in the car at this test and did an excellent job, displaying good pace and providing informative feedback," said Steve Farrell, the team's chief engineer. Manning is a regular racer in the F3000 series, and scored a pole position and second place at the Silverstone round.

"We look forward to having him back with us again at Monza," added Farrell.

"As a result of this test, we hope to have a much less stressful race weekend at the Nurburgring than we experienced in Barcelona. Everyone has worked extremely hard on the gearbox problem and their efforts have borne fruit," concluded the engineer.

Although reliability was the focus of the test, Ricardo Zonta set the fastest time on the first day. This was down to the Brazilian taking some time to polish his qualifying performance, which has let him down of late. Andrew Alsworth, the team's testing manager explained.

"The plan was to back-to-back various components on the cars, carry out durability running on the latest specification gearbox, and spend some time working with Ricardo on his qualifying performance.

"Pleasingly, he set the fastest time of the day on Wednesday," continued Alsworth.

Manning confirmed the progress the team had made since the start of the year with the new 02, suggesting that the car was a vast improvement on the last time he had driven it at the Spanish track.

"It was absolutely fantastic being on a proper circuit here at Jerez, doing some serious testing, having data to overlay with, and someone else to drive alongside - in this case, Jacques Villeneuve," he enthused.

"This circuit is quite different from Silverstone in that the surface is very abrasive and you tend to set your best times in the first couple of laps of a run. When I drove the car back in February, it was one of the first times it had run and it is generally a much better car now."

"We can definitely say it was a success," concluded Farrell.

The next Grand Prix is the European, at the Nurburgring in one week's time.

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