Virgin Racing conducted shakedown runs for the new VR-01 on Thursday and Friday at Silverstone, making them the first of the four new teams to actually put rubber to the road. Timo Glock put in some installation laps on Thursday, and then ran 42 laps on Friday, before handing over the car to team mate, and former Renault tester, Lucas di Grassi, who then drove the car an additional 36 laps.
As reported in Autosport, di Grassi said, “I’m really happy and our first impressions of the car are very positive. It’s amazing what the team has achieved in such a short space of time. I think we have a strong car and a great team to get things started in Jerez.”
Timo Glock was equally enthusiastic: “It was a fantastic moment for myself and the whole team to see the VR-01 come alive. It’s great to be back in a racing car.”
Designer Nick Wirth was also satisfied with the results of the shakedown run. “To achieve 100km of running out of the box is a great achievement with only a few minor issues along the way,” he said. “We have acquired some good information to feed straight back into design for the development of new parts, which we may even be testing next week. All in all this is a very pleasing conclusion to a memorable week for Virgin Racing.”
Virgin will join the established teams at Jerez next week for another formal test session. They will be the first of the new teams to take the opportunity to measure themselves against some of the marquee names in the series.