Carlo van Dam and Toyota Team TOM’s kick off at Fuji


Carlo van Dam has for the first time driven the new Dallara-Toyota of Toyota Team TOM’s for which he will race in the Japanese Formula 3 championship this year. Despite cold and snowy conditions the Dutchman ran at Fuji today and yesterday, completing close to 250 laps.

“It is quite cold here at the moment”, Carlo says. “This morning when I drove to the circuit temperatures were below zero. This first test was postponed once already due to snowfall, yet although it is still cold and snowy here now, at least we could go out on the track this time. On the first day we only started running in the afternoon, because the pit lane was still icy in the morning. I managed to do 96 laps in the afternoon, though, which allowed me to get to know the new car, the new engine and the Bridgestone tyres, which are new to me, too. Of course they take some getting used to, for the characteristics of these tyres are different to those I raced on in Europe.”

“Today, I completed some 140 laps. The track got quicker during the day, but due to oil on the circuit our afternoon times were about the same as the ones we set during the morning session. Several teams were testing and I was fastest, which is nice, but we can go much quicker, so this is just the start and the conditions were far from ideal. The tyres offered little grip and for this season Bridgestone will introduce a new tyre anyway, based on a softer compound. So we can’t jump to conclusions. It was good, however, to get to know the car and the engine and to work with the team. We seem to be getting along very well together and I like working with my new engineer.”

Tomorrow, Toyota Team TOM’s stages its official presentation and will then announce a new title sponsor. Carlo: “It is a large, renowned company and that gives this season yet another interesting dimension. Also, TOM’s has just opened the doors of its new workshop, a beautiful three floor building. All in all I look forward to the coming year.”

After this weekend, Carlo will travel to Thailand for a few days. “I have worked for a while for a Thai karting team, a client of Peter de Bruijn. Thailand is not that far from Japan so I go there to say hello and help them prepare for their first race of the season.”

On February 20 and 21, Carlo will again test for Toyota Team TOM’s, this time at the Motegi circuit.

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