Toyota fires up for first time

The Toyota Formula 1 team, due to compete in the world championship in 2002, took a significant step forward today when the first V10 engine built by the Japanese marque was fired up

Toyota fires up for first time

Engineers at the Toyota base in Cologne fired up the engine - which has been entirely designed and built in-house - this morning (Monday), and ran the 3-litre unit on a test bed.

"I am very happy with our progress so far," said Toyota team president Ove Andersson. "This engine firing was very important for us all. We now feel that we have the heart of the car beating and this is good for our motivation."

Today's initial test marks the beginning of an engine development programme due to be completed before the chassis is ready in March next year. An intensive testing schedule awaits the team next year as the engine/chassis package is to be developed with the help of Mika Salo and Allan McNish, who have been signed as Toyota's official test drivers.

"There is still a lot of work to do on the test bench before we are ready to test on the track next year," said Norbert Kreyer, who heads the engine team, "but of course I am happy that we have our first engine running."

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