The A1 Grand Prix test programme took another huge step forward with the completion of a successful three day test at the Vallelunga circuit in Italy this week. The test focused on final stage development of engines, brakes, tyres, wheels and the "push to pass" boost control.
"We tested on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and completed a total of 1,500 kilometres. This was important as we have now completed the A1 engine programme, which we started in Jerez. We needed to complete 3,500 kilometres on this engine and it did so without missing a beat", explained Technical Operations Advisor, John Wickham.
The arrival of rain on Monday afternoon and early Tuesday morning has meant that the car has tested in all weather conditions. The wet track offered the perfect opportunity to asses Cooper's rain tyres for wet conditions.
"We have now been able to define the tyre and wheel sizes and the braking package that will be on the final car, which is important for our production cycle," said John Wickham. Test driver, Ralph Firman, who drove the car, commented: "The A1 car is going to be a very quick car and will surprise a lot of people who drive it. Due to its speed and exceptional cornering grip, it will be very physically demanding to drive far more than you might imagine. It will be a real challenge for the drivers. It was an added bonus to have rain so we could try the wet weather version of the Cooper tyre, which proved ideal".
Followingon from the launches of the British and South African A1 Teams, the official launch of A1 Team Lebanon will take place on 1st December in Beirut. The Lebanese car in its national livery was given a shakedown run at Silverstone on Wednesday with Robbie Kerr at the wheel.