SOLID BASE TO BUILD FROM AT BRANDS HATCH Friday Practice at the Brands Hatch circuit in Great Britain produced a solid base for A1 Team New Zealand to build on over the course of the weekend, for competition at what is now the final round of...
SOLID BASE TO BUILD FROM AT BRANDS HATCH
Friday Practice at the Brands Hatch circuit in Great Britain produced a solid base for A1 Team New Zealand to build on over the course of the weekend, for competition at what is now the final round of Season Four for the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport.
With 18-year-old Kiwi Earl Bamber at the wheel of Black Beauty, New Zealand recorded a time fast enough for eighth place in Friday's opening Practice session. Interestingly, the lap time recorded by New Zealand of 1.13.892 was exactly equalled by Australia, down the thousandth of a second.
The Netherlands were the fastest nation in the opening Practice, with a time of 1.12.700, just over half a second faster than the second placed nation, a huge advantage in single-seater racing.
For the first time in his A1GP career, Bamber took to the Kent circuit without the luxury of the Rookie Practice session. Having never driven at the circuit previously, the team are confident more speed will come from Bamber as he works out the limits of the powerful A1GP car around the undulating track.
Brands Hatch rates as one of the more challenging circuits on the A1GP calendar, and therefore takes drivers some time before they can comfortably push the limits, lap after lap. It was evident in opening practice to see those drivers with experience at Brands Hatch near the top of the time sheets early in the weekend.
The early laps in the opening practice for New Zealand were spent running in the new Ferrari engine that has been fitted to Black Beauty, with initial reports indicating business as normal from the heart of New Zealand's race car.
Qualifying starts at 2.15pm local time on Saturday, with New Zealand hoping to finish the season of A1GP racing on a high. The all important Qualifying features the normal four sessions with one flying lap each, meaning drivers will have to be on their game more than ever given the tricky nature of the circuit.
Highlights of Qualifying will be shown on TV3 at 1pm on Sunday, or catch the action live at www.A1GP.com.
Earl Bamber, Driver
"I really like the circuit. I've never driven a corner like Turn One -- it's a really special feeling when the car regains grip halfway out of the corner."
"Track knowledge is so important around here [Brands Hatch]. We'll get on the pace over the weekend."
"After looking through our date we'll make some changes to the car for Saturday and hopefully these should help us a little too."