Toyota had a strong Friday in the practice sessions yesterday, as it prepares for only its second competitive outing with the new for 2012 TS030.

In the first session, Toyota proved that they had the potential to get amongst the two Audis as the #7 car set the second fastest time of the session, ending up only two tenths of a second behind the quickest Audi.

The second session was spent setting the car up for longer runs and was classified as the fourth quickest car, behind the two Audis and the Strakka Racing HPD. An electrical problem also meant an earlier than planned end to the day.

Nevertheless, the drivers of the car still felt positive about their chances, and were quick to praise the new aerodynamic package on the Toyota, which features a new rear wing.

“We had a productive day and we gained a lot of information from our new aero package. We played around with the race set-up and one of our goals was to optimise the package for the Silverstone track. We still have some work to do on the balance but I am sure that, with the work done today, we will find the best solution. For sure the TS030 HYBRID has more downforce with the new aero package, which is good on a race track like Silverstone,” Alex Wurz said.

“First I had to get my bearings as I hadn’t raced here since 2010. Our TS030 HYBRID has never run at Silverstone so we had to make little adjustments but the car was quite good from the start, with a positive aero balance. Of course, it can change with the track temperature so we’ll see how that develops. We have to find the best compromise between a good level of downforce and the top speed; I think we are going in the right direction. The car is really nice to drive in the fast corners so we can already see the benefit of our new package,” Nicolas Lapierre added.

“It was nice to drive on a dry track because rain is always a threat at Silverstone. I never drove on this layout before today; the new part is quite tricky but the old part is still here and I really enjoyed it. I had a lot of traffic and it is not easy to find a clear lap here so it was a learning day, regarding the track, the new package and the tyres,” Kazuki Nakajima concluded.

“The car looks competitive and we have several good signs. So overall it was a positive first day.”