Jaguar Racing launched its 2004 challenger, the Jaguar R5 at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona (Spain). Drivers Mark Webber and new signing Christian Klien proudly unveiled the evolutionary contender that aims to build upon the core strengths of last yearâ€™s car (R4). Alongside Mark and Christian were some of the management team responsible for the Cosworth-powered Formula One car â€“ David Pitchforth (Managing Director), Ian Pocock (Director of Engineering) Ben Agathangelou (Head of Aerodynamics), Rob Taylor (Head of Vehicle Design), Dr Mark Gillan (Head of Vehicle Performance), Dr Ian Pocock (Head of Engineering) and Tony Purnell (CEO Premier Performance Division â€“ which oversees operations at Jaguar Racing, Cosworth Racing and Pi Electronics).
â€˜The Jaguar R5 is the first car that we have been able to design completely from scratch with our new management structure in place and with our new philosophy of building on what we learnt from last season,â€™ said David Pitchforth, Managing Director, Jaguar Racing. â€˜This car has been started significantly earlier than in the past and is an iteration of a car that we already understand pretty well and a car that had many strengths. I would never say that we got to grips with every problem on last yearâ€™s but one of the things we have resisted doing on R5 is changing things simply because we didnâ€™t understand them,â€™ added Pitchforth. â€˜Even if we carry over some of the problems that R4 had, it is better to run something whose quirks you believe you can fix than take a gamble on something new.â€™
Head of Aerodynamics, Ben Agathangelou, explains the philosophy behind R5: â€˜We have learnt so much from last yearâ€™s R4 by working in a low-risk, conventional fashion and now that we have stability within every department of the team it has given us a chance to push really hard to make the new R5 an improvement. It has been an education for me because itâ€™s the first time we have had a car that we trust and understand pretty well. That has meant that we could refine and evolve it rather than take a few risks, which is what we had to do in the past.â€™
Entering his second season with the team, Australian Mark Webber (27) â€˜ I had the opportunity to straight-line test the car in Lommel last week and the initial results were pleasing. This year we will have to work on our race performances as they have been a weaker area for us in the past. In qualifying we did pretty well and I really enjoyed that part of it but you have to take that on to the race if you want to score good points and that is going to be as difficult as ever. The rule allowing just one engine means that people may struggle for reliability in the first few races and we have to be ready to capitalise when those opportunities come along. A good start will also give us momentum throughout the year, which we will need if we are to keep moving forward. Basically we need to see good progression and grab more points than we did in 2003.â€™
Joining Mark is Formula Oneâ€™s newest driver, Austrian Christian Klien (20) who joined just over seven weeks ago. â€˜I could not have asked for a better opportunity to the start off my F1 challenge. I have a very steep learning curve ahead of me but the support within the team is terrific and in Mark, I have not only a very quick teammate but also someone who is a great team player. I cannot wait to get into the new car and begin what will be a very intense few weeks of testing. With only six weeks until the seasonâ€™s opening race, the workload will be very heavy but this is what I have always dreamed of doing. There is a big difference between everything in Formula One and where I came from in Formula Three. It is, however, what I expected and what I now have to fully prepare for.â€™
Nick Hayes, Technical Director at Cosworth Racing takes up the engine story: â€˜The CR6-V10 engine is a development of last yearâ€™s engine, so it remains a 90-degree V10, but we have new longer-life requirements in 2004 thanks to the rule that means we can only use one engine over a whole Grand Prix weekend. Previously an engine would last for 450-500km but now we expect engines to have to survive for around 800km so weâ€™ve been doing a lot of work on the CR6 to extract the best performance but at the right life. A lot of the components in a 2003 engine wouldnâ€™t last for much more than a race, let alone a whole weekend, so much of our recent work was seeing how we can extend the lifespan without hurting performance. It will certainly be a challenging season for all engines on the grid!â€™
The Jaguar R5 was straight-line tested Monday last week at Ford Motor Companyâ€™s Proving Ground in Lommel, Belgium and will today run for the first time on a Grand Prix circuit at the Circuit de Catalunya (Barcelona, Spain).
Jaguar Racing would finally like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to its steadfast sponsors, HSBC, AT&T, Becks, UGS PLM, Pioneer, Hanger 7, Michelin, DuPont, Castrol, and all our suppliers who have remained loyal to us and continue to support us as we go forward into the new season.
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Source: Jaguar Press Release