Stefan GP Scrap Portimao Test Due to Lack of Tires

Stefan GP will unfortunately not be able to run their Stefan 01 car in Portimao this week. The cancellation, reported by British publication Autosport, doesn't have anything to do with the car's development, but with the team's inability to secure the necessary Bridgestone tires for the scheduled test.

Late last month, the Serbian outfit confirmed that they will debut the Stefan 01 – formerly known as Toyota TF110, as the team purchased the car and technology from the Japanese manufacturer – on the Portimao track, between February 25 to 28. While still not benefiting from an entry for the 2010 F1 championship, the team wasn't allowed to join the other F1 teams at Barcelona, so they chose a track currently not used by the series for testing.

The problem is that, under the current FIA regulations, the championship's sole tire supplier Bridgestone is only allowed to give tires to the teams holding an F1 entry, which is not the case with Stefan GP. Under the circumstances, the solution would have been for the Japanese tire maker to supply the Serbs with GP2-spec tires, but that was also impossible due to the short notice Bridgestone had to work with.

We cannot do the test at the moment and we are still trying to find a solution. We have no tires and will not test on tires that are not suitable for the car to go testing at full speed. We now need to see what our options are, but we definitely need to do something to sort this situation out,” said the team's boss Zoran Stefanovic, according to Autosport.

Additionally, Stefanovic confirmed the team is pushing for a Kazuki Nakajima – Jacques Villeneuve lineup for the season to come, with the former being already signed and sealed for 2010.

We have already agreed terms with (Kazuki) Nakajima, and we expect to conclude a deal with (Jacques) Villeneuve. We think it is a good decision for us, and it makes sense for him,” added the Serbian boss.

Under the circumstances, the FIA needs to make a quick decision on Stefan GP's status ahead of the new season, as it will prove crucial in the team's preparation for the 2010 campaign.
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