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Irvine thrilled with new Jaguar; TEST DRIVE: Eddie Irvine gives the new Jaguar a run-out in Barcelona.

Eddie Irvine was impressed with his Jaguar as it passed its first official Formula One test at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya today.

Irvine and team-mate Johnny Herbert finished second and third-fastest respectively behind Sauber's Mika Salo despite being restricted in the number of laps they covered because of early-season gremlins.

Herbert produced a fastest time of 1:24.272, while Irvine's best lap was 1:24.498.

Irvine said: "It was my first time in the brand new car, and I'm impressed.

"The engine is very drivable, and there is no shortage of power.

"The whole package is very tight, and we should give our rivals something to think about this season."

Herbert added: "The car feels very good. What we achieved today with limited running bodes well for the new season. You always find little problems on the first day at school as it were, but we are delighted that the car worked well straight out of the box.

"Obviously there's still a way to go, and we will no doubt find improvement before the first race in Melbourne.

"But to come here so early in the season and prove that we can be on the pace straightaway is a big boost."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jan 10, 2000
Words:203
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