European Minardi Cosworth was back at the Mugello circuit today [Wednesday] for the second test in two weeks of its Cosworth-powered PS04 - the ex-Arrows car which is likely to form the basis of the team's 2004 Formula One challenger.

Regular driver, Jos Verstappen, handled the driving duties, with the day's technical programme focused primarily on chassis set-up work.

In addition, the Faenza squad took the opportunity to carry out tyre evaluation work with technical partner, Bridgestone, ahead of the upcoming Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. Also testing at Mugello today were Ferrari and BAR.

"This is a new car for us and, despite having a couple of technical problems, which is quite normal in this sort of situation, we found a good technical direction and made steady progress today," said Verstappen, "In total, we did 59 laps on the two chassis, and the best lap, of 1 minute 24.7 seconds, was an improvement of 0.9 secs compared with the first time we tested here at Mugello. We are hoping to run the car again soon in order to continue the work and to have a chance to begin to judge its potential."

Andy Tilley, chief engineer, added: "We concentrated on set-up work today, and despite a gearbox problem and a hydraulic leak that delayed us slightly, we completed the planned technical programme for the PS04. It was also both interesting and helpful to carry out tyre evaluation ahead of Suzuka."

Paul Stoddart, team boss, concluded: "Today saw the second evaluation test involving the PS04, and resulted in an improvement of almost a second a lap compared with the last outing. Clearly, this car has enormous potential, and we look forward to continuing the programme when testing begins again in November."



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