Brands Hatch: Team New Zealand preview

TURNING PACE INTO RESULTS A1 Team New Zealand's main goal heading into Round Seven of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport this coming weekend at Brands Hatch is to translate Black Beauty's speed into strong results. After a fast start to...

TURNING PACE INTO RESULTS

A1 Team New Zealand's main goal heading into Round Seven of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport this coming weekend at Brands Hatch is to translate Black Beauty's speed into strong results.

After a fast start to the season with podium finishes in both races at the first round of the season, Black Beauty has endured a rocky ride in the first season of competition with the new-for-Season-Four 'Powered by Ferrari' A1GP race-car.

One factor in New Zealand's favour as the A1GP championship heads to Brands Hatch is the consistency of driver selection, with eighteen-year-old Earl Bamber back in Black Beauty for the third round in a row. While quick at the last round of the championship in Portugal, New Zealand were non finishers in both races after contact with other nations.

An additional boost for New Zealand is the new Ferrari engine that has been fitted to the heart of Black Beauty. Whether the new engine will give Black Beauty a measurable performance edge is yet to be seen, however the knowledge that a fresh engine is fitted is reassuring in itself, to know that Black Beauty is in the best state possible.

Bamber starts his third weekend in a row driving Black Beauty after sharing driving duties early on with A1 Team New Zealand team-mate Chris van der Drift. Bamber is no longer classified as an A1GP Rookie however, so will no longer have the chance to drive the two Rookie Practice sessions of half an hour each.

While van der Drift is still eligible to take part in the Rookie Practice sessions that commence an A1GP race weekend, the talented Kiwi will instead be in action at the Spa circuit in Belgium for the second round of the 2009 World Series by Renault.

Time spent driving the A1GP simulator last week should at least give Bamber a strong idea of the layout of the challenging circuit, located in Kent, south east of London.

While New Zealand's driver line-up is unchanged for the third race weekend in a row, a number of other nations have nominated alternative drivers for Brands Hatch, including South Africa, Germany, China and the USA.

The top four nations in the current championship points standings all bring an unchanged lead driver to Brands Hatch. However fifth placed France is still nominate their driver for Brands Hatch, while sixth placed Malaysia will run Aaron Lim, who is yet to contest an A1GP race, despite having driven multiple Rookie sessions.

New Zealand is currently ranked seventh in the championship points standings with 36 points, seven points shy of Malaysia.

Earl Bamber, Driver

"The last round in Portugal was positive for the team despite the lack of results when we compare our pace with what we had in South Africa. For the first time this season we had speed that meant we could run with the front nations."

"The new engine will be interesting to see how it goes."

"I've never driven at Brands Hatch before, but I did spend a day driving it on the simulator the other day. It looks like it's a circuit where it's really important to find a good rhythm to be quick. A fast lap won't always feel fast, yet a lap that does feel fast probably won't be so quick."

-credit: nz

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Aaron Lim , Earl Bamber