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Glock brings after dark experience to Singapore.


While Toyota's F1 team goes back to its roots for this weekend's first grand prix under lights, first year driver Timo Glock has been adding his previous experience to the team's collective data.

Prior to competing in F1, Toyota took on the challenge of the Le Mans 24 Hours, and has plenty of team members already experienced in the demands of night racing, but Glock brings further knowledge of what it feel like to compete after dark, having done so in his one-and-only Champ Car campaign. However, the German admits that, not only has his experience faded over two season of GP2 racing, but he also expects the Singapore Grand Prix experience to differ from what he already knows.

"Night racing is good fun and a great show for the fans," he acknowledged, "I competed in a night race at Las Vegas in 2005, when I was racing in the United States, and that was a different experience, especially as it was on an oval. I have actually already driven the TF108 at night, on a demo run in Valencia in January, but it will be a totally different experience this weekend.

"It is no problem driving at night generally, because the lights make it seem more like daylight, but it is a bit strange to be racing at a time when normally you are resting."

Glock's previous experience also differs greatly from taking on the challenge of racing on a street course under lights, but he is anticipating a positive weekend in Singapore.

"The venue looks fantastic and I am really looking forward to the race because I believe we have a good chance to score more points," he opined, "Things didn't work out for us in Monza, with the changing track conditions coming at just the wrong time for our strategy, and the fight for fourth in the constructors' championship is very close now. But we are really motivated to come out on top."

Using its collective knowledge, the Toyota team has made several specific changes for Singapore, from preparing a special pit board which will be visible at night to adjusting the display on the steering wheel and providing additional lighting in the garage, and sent engineering and logistics staff to study the venue first-hand in July. A high downforce configuration is expected, and the TF108 will be converted from the low-downforce package used in Monza to a specification more comparable with that used at Monaco earlier in the season.

"We have experienced several new venues since 2004 and, generally, everything goes smoothly," senior general manager Pascal Vasselon commented, "We are used to handling the challenge of a new track, so that doesn't worry us.

"Obviously, we have studied the lay-out in Singapore and have found similarities to other tracks which lead us to conclude it will be a high-downforce circuit. So we know which direction to go in terms of aerodynamic set-up. We have made one or two small tweaks to our aero package and we expect the TF108 to suit the characteristics of the Singapore track.

"One of the other things we looked at early on was braking severity - and this is very important because if you have to make changes it takes time. There is no doubt that Singapore will be very demanding on brakes and we expect them to be working at very high temperatures.

"Other than that, everyone is very much looking forward to the race and we have high hopes."


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Timo Glock (GER) Toyota TF108, French F1 Grand Prix, Magny Cours, France, 20th-22nd, June, 2008
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