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Glock ends TF108's maiden test on a high 17 Jan 2008

Timo Glock (GER) Toyota TF108 Formula One Testing, Day Three, Jerez, Spain, Wednesday 16 January 2008. World © Bumstead/Sutton Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota. Formula One Testing, Day One, Jerez, Spain, Monday 14 January 2008. World © Hartley/Sutton 
Timo Glock (GER) Toyota TF108 Formula One Testing, Jerez, Spain, 14 January 2008. World © Bumstead/Sutton Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota TF108 Formula One Testing, Jerez, Spain, 14 January 2008. World © Bumstead/Sutton

Just a week after its launch, Toyota’s new TF108 is already making headlines for all the right reasons, with new race driver Timo Glock taking the Japanese team to the top of the timesheets in their 2008 challenger during testing in Jerez on Wednesday.

Despite unsettled conditions, Glock finished the day with a best time of 1m 19.779 to beat the 2008 cars of both Ferrari and McLaren around the Spanish track and give the Japanese team their first reason to be cheerful after a difficult 2007.

“I am pleased with our progress today and I believe we have made some significant improvements to the new car,” said Glock. “It is encouraging to see us end the day with the fastest lap and I think we made a step forward. Once again the car was extremely reliable and that allowed us to complete a lot of laps and gather plenty of information.”

Charged with gaining as much track time as possible over the day, Glock covered 96 laps as he carried out set-up and mechanical comparisons. Despite it being only his second day in the new car he progressed well and even a brief spin before lunch did little to dent his optimism.

“This is a completely different car compared to the TF107 but it is a good step forward and we know what we need to work on to improve,” he added. “I made a small mistake in the morning on the damp track when the rear wheels locked and I spun but it didn’t cost us much time. The team worked really hard this week to improve the car and I am happy.”

With Jarno Trulli’s running on Monday and Glock’s two days, it means that over the three-day test the TF108 covered over 1,500 kilometres. Despite Glock’s and Trulli’s buoyancy, however, test team manager Gerd Pfeiffer is under no illusions that there is a great deal more to be done.

“It has been a promising start to the year and we have made good progress understanding the TF108,” said Pfeiffer. “But this is only the first step and we know we have more work to do in the next five pre-season tests to improve the car’s performance.”

Toyota will return to the test track next week for the multi-team session in Valencia, where the Japanese squad are expecting to field two TF108s.