Despite finishing at the bottom of the timesheets on its debut here in Barcelona on Thursday, the new R3 has been hailed as encouraging by the Jaguar Racing Team. Regular driver Eddie Irvine put the new revised R3 through its paces on Thursday however top times were not the order of the day.
Irvine started the session in the old car and when he finally took the new R3b out onto the Catalunya circuit track temperatures had soared considerably. The Irishman worked on setting the car up and getting some mileage under his belt for the team to analyze. Apart from yesterday's session, the new car has only been on track to complete some straight-line testing at a Ford facility in Belgium.
"We are encouraged but it is early days and there is still a lot of work to do," said Jaguar spokesman Nav Sidhu after the initial running of the R3b.
Irvine and the entire Milton Keynes based are pinning a lot of hope on the new car that will make its race debut at the British Grand Prix next weekend, the Irishman's future said to be resting on an improved performance.
“After the opening three races, the team told me to be patient while they worked non-stop to improve the aerodynamics, and being able to sit in the new car is the moment I've been praying for. I just hope the handling and the speed of the revised package will match our targets because we certainly need to turn things around in the second half of the season,” Eddie said in the Sun. “The four points I scored in the opening race are not a true reward for all the effort the team have put in. If we can start being in the frame in the final few races of the season, the hard work will all have been worthwhile.”