Toyota goes two up in Spain

Toyota's test programme in preparation for its entry into Formula 1 in 2002 stepped up a gear when it ran two cars for the first time in a three-day test at Barcelona

Toyota goes two up in Spain

It was the team's first foray to F1's benchmark testing venue and its clear that the German-based operation still has much ground to make up before its first race, the 2002 Australian Grand Prix.

Mika Salo's best lap from the 135 completed was a 1m23.970s, with test team mate Allan McNish banging in a 1m24.400s during his 92 laps of running. As a comparison, pole for April's Spanish GP was a 1m18.201s lap for Michael Schumacher and Ferrari.

The team concentrated on tyre testing with Michelin, plus electronics and data acquisition. But aerodynamic development was also touched upon.

"We were working on aerodynamics to give the car more downforce, which is vital for this track," said McNish. "We did a lot of kilometres here, which helped us to further develop electronic settings and meant we could acquire a lot of circuit data in preparation for next year."

The team gets another chance to gauge itself against the benchmark next week, with a test at the home of the French GP, Magny-Cours.

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