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article details
Author Zpeed
Categories Honda F1, Testing, BAR Specific
Create Date March 18, 2003 04:13
Last Update April 12, 2003 16:16
12 - 14 March Jerez Testing


Things are looking better and better for us Honda freaks! The valve train problems from last race weekend seem to have been resolved, and the new engine showed good reliability on the last testing day. Next to that it also showed a pretty good pace, though repeat after me: Testing is just testing :). Only a few more days, and we'll see where our team stands compared to the others. I have good faith that soon we'll see a Honda powered driver on the podium though, Honda seems to have quite a high development speed in it's programme currently.
Following the test reports, times and race previews.

BAR Honda completed a three-day, one-car test at the Jerez circuit in preparation for the forthcoming Malaysian Grand Prix last week. Takuma Sato was behind the wheel of the BAR Honda 005/01 for all three days, working his way through a comprehensive programme of engine and tyre evaluation to set the car up for the hot and humid conditions the team will encounter next weekend.

Day one of the test on Wednesday saw Takuma complete a total of 81 laps, setting a best time of 1.21.708. The main focus of the day was to carry out some aerodynamic mapping work and commence a tyre test for Bridgestone. BAR was the only team running for the Japanese tyre manufacturer in Jerez this week. The car ran smoothly with no reliability issues, using the same specification Honda engine that the team have used throughout winter testing.

The team's priority for the second day of testing was to put some more mileage on the latest evolution of the Honda engine. Takuma was also evaluating Sepang specification tyres in different compounds over long distances. A hydraulic problem interrupted running mid afternoon but once resolved, the car was able to return to the track and complete the remainder of the second tyre test. With the warm and sunny weather the team also took the opportunity to test the car's cooling systems for Malaysia. Takuma completed 61 laps for the day with a fastest lap time of 1:21.141.

The programme for the final day of testing today was to conclude the planned evaluation of the Malaysia engine and repeat yesterday's tests with the Bridgestone tyres to confirm the results. A minor water leak on the second tyre run confined the car to the garage for a short period. The team then took a break from running mid-afternoon to carry out a planned engine change, after which they continued tyre testing until the end of the session. Takuma set the fastest time of the day with a 1:18.711, covering a total of 87 laps.

Speaking at the end of the final day, Takuma Sato said: "I am very pleased with how the test has gone this week. We have had a couple of small problems but nothing major and we have been able to complete all the tests that we planned to. We have also been running the latest specification of the Honda engine, which enabled me to set a very good lap time today so Honda are happy. We completed over 1000km over the last three days without any serious problems which is a very encouraging result."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director for Honda Racing Development, said: "We have had an almost completely problem-free test this week and re-confirmed the engine's reliability with a number of long runs. We are heading to Malaysia in good heart."
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