Wickens Lands P1 in Rookie Debut Robert Wickens capped his debut for A1 Team Canada by topping the timesheets in the second half of Friday morning's 'Rookie-Only' session at the Brno Auto Motodrom in the Czech Republic ahead of Round 2 of the ...
Wickens Lands P1 in Rookie Debut
Robert Wickens capped his debut for A1 Team Canada by topping the timesheets in the second half of Friday morning's 'Rookie-Only' session at the Brno Auto Motodrom in the Czech Republic ahead of Round 2 of the 2007-08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport.
The 18-year-old from Toronto was confirmed in his 'rookie' role this morning and failed to disappoint piloting the 550bhp A1GP car for the first time since a one-day try-out with the team at England's Silverstone Circuit back in August. Wickens, who placed third this year in his rookie season in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship, quickly got to grips with both car and track -- the Canadian sampling the 5.40km Brno circuit for the first time.
Setting the seventh fastest time in the first of two 25-minute sessions for rookie drivers, Wickens and the crew worked on the car's balance ahead of the second outing with the end result, a lap of 1m49.037s, placing Canada firmly at the top of the timesheets and third fastest overall for the morning. Having later worked on race set-up, Wickens duly handed over to fellow Toronto-native James Hinchcliffe, who will qualify and race in Brno, for the afternoon's hour-long practice session.
"To be honest the morning went better than expected," Wickens remarked. "I made a slight error on my fastest lap in the first half of the session so we ended up seventh but we knew by looking at the data we had a top-three car. The changes we made clicked and I banged in a fast lap at the start of the second session. I certainly can't complain about finishing P1, it's a great platform to build on."
Hinchcliffe, who scored a podium for Canada in the Sprint race at Brno last season, posted 17 laps in the afternoon with his quickest lap, a 1m47.609s, placing him 12th fastest from the 22 car field.
"It's been a good day," stated Hinchcliffe. "Obviously we were happy to see the pace Robbie had in the rookie session. When I went out in the afternoon's practice on new tires I don't think our set-up was ideally suited to running on fresh rubber. At this track you really only get one lap to get it done so although it looks like we're lower than where we want to be, by mid-session, when everyone's in more of a race-trim on worn tires, we actually had a really competitive car. We just need to do a little more work to make sure we qualify well and get the most from our one-lap runs tomorrow."
Qualifying for Sunday's 20-minute Sprint race and 70-minute Feature race starts tomorrow, Saturday 13th October, at 2:15pm in the Czech Republic (8:15am EST).