Teams shorten Paul Ricard to simulate Monaco

THE teams testing at the Paul Ricard circuit in southern France decided to run on the shorter configuration of the circuit on Thursday because it more closely resembles the tight Monaco circuit they will visit next week.

McLaren drivers David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest times around the shorter course, and German Heinz-Harald Frentzen was third fastest in Arrows first day of testing this week.

Felipe Massa, who drove the longer track configuration Tuesday, was fourth fastest Thursday. The Brazilian concentrated on aerodynamic setup for Monaco, while also testing some revised suspension components and even completing some tire testing for Bridgestone.

"It was fun to use a completely different style of circuit today, even though we were still at the same venue," said Massa. "I like testing here; it's a good track and the consistency of the weather allowed us to get a great deal of work done."

Toyota returned to their home track Thursday for day two of their testing program. Mika Salo completed a tire program for Michelin, and CART, and former F1, driver Tora Takagi was given the opportunity to drive the TF102.

"The last time I drove in F1 was two years' ago," said the Japanese driver. "For me this was an exciting experience and it is incredible just how much an F1 technology has changed in that time. I want to say thanks to Toyota for giving me chance to drive today. It was good fun and very different to CART."

Allan McNish will take over for Salo on Friday, and another CART driver, Cristiano da Matta, will get his chance behind the wheel as well.

PAUL RICARD TEST - THURSDAY, 16 MAY 2002

POS

DRIVER ENTRANT TIME

1.

DAVID COULTHARD McLaren-Mercedes 1:13.342

2.

KIMI RAIKKONEN McLaren-Mercedes 1:13.828

3.

HEINZ-HARALD FRENTZEN Arrows-Cosworth 1:14.157

4.

FELIPE MASSA Sauber-Petronas 1:14.291

5.

MIKA SALO Toyota 1:15.019

6.

TORA TAKAGI Toyota 1:16.958

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