DURAN IS SECOND IN A1GP PRACTICE AT CHINA The track length was reduced and qualifying was cancelled BEIJING, China (November 11, 2006) - This Saturday for the first time all the A1GP drivers went out to the Jingkai street circuit ...
DURAN IS SECOND IN A1GP PRACTICE AT CHINA
The track length was reduced and qualifying was cancelled
BEIJING, China (November 11, 2006) - This Saturday for the first time all the A1GP drivers went out to the Jingkai street circuit at Beijing, which was their first practice on the track for the entire field. Mexican Salvador Duran was second fastest to Dutchman Jeroen Bleekemolen. The 90-minute long practice was suspended after 25 minutes of action, due to a manhole lid coming loose on the racing line between turns three and four. Although the manhole lids are welded to the rim, due to aerodynamics of the cars it creates an extreme suction effect that resulted stronger than expected and that caused this situation.
Eventually, the qualifying sessions were suspended and the organisers took the right measures to have a track in the best possible conditions for the Sunday's races. In addition, the circuit that originally had a 3.1-Km. length was reduced to 2.2 Km. and the alteration was done shortening the main straight and moving the hairpin bend to a wider turning circle, doubling its width to give the A1GP cars more room to manoeuvre.
About the situation, Duran said: "The organisers inspected the circuit and made the necessary changes so tomorrow (today) we can race. They did a great job, because the manhole lids were coming loose and that's why the track was dangerous. The pavement it is still in good conditions."
And he added: "For me it is a new experience this sort of track. Even that I have been in street circuits before, this track is quite narrow and very demanding. During the practice I did my best. We have a good car, I was driving well and we will see what we can do this Sunday. I think it is important to start from the first row in this sort of circuits where there is not enough room to overtake, so we hope to achieve more podiums and the necessary points to get the first place in the championship standings."
According to Sporting Regulation 144, in the event qualifying does not take place, the fastest lap time set in practice shall be taken as the team's grid position for the Sprint race. Therefore, A1 Team Netherlands will start the race on pole, followed by Mexico, Italy, Canada, etc.
This Sunday will be broadcast live the two races (Sprint and Feature) from Beijing, China at 12 a.m. (Mexico Central Time), on SPEED en Español channel and through Televisa, the races will be broadcast tape-delayed at 1:00 p.m. (Mexico Central Time) on channel 4.
-credit: team mexico