A successful start of the Swiss A1 team in China Neel Jani fastest in first practice With its driver Neel Jani, Switzerland was fastest in first practice of the Nations' Cup of Motorsport at Chengdu (China). Contrarily to some other drivers,...
A successful start of the Swiss A1 team in China
Neel Jani fastest in first practice
With its driver Neel Jani, Switzerland was fastest in first practice of the Nations' Cup of Motorsport at Chengdu (China). Contrarily to some other drivers, the driver from Berne didn't have any damage at the challenging track in the south-west of the country.
At the circuit, which was new to almost all of the 19 drivers, numerous incidents occurred. In the last 15 minutes only, testing had to be interrupted four times due to accidents. Earlier on, some rookies already had quite a lot of difficulties with the track that has many bumps, especially in the braking areas. It has to be seen how the drivers will be able to cope with the interesting, but challenging lay-out in rainy conditions. On Friday, the weather was very good, but especially for the Sunday, the forecast isn't very promising.
Just befor the red flag was out for the first time, Neel Jani climbed on top of the leaderboard. "We are happy with the result of the first day", said team principal Max Welti. "We have been able to complete the entire programme we had planned and Neel was among the front runners from the very beginning. However, before qualifying, there are still some things that need to be optimised on our car that is being used in regular conditions for the first time. In the test we had at Silverstone recently, it was too damp and too cold to acquire any meaningful data."
Neel Jani completed a total of 25 laps. "The first impression of the track wasn't particularly good", the Swiss reported. "It is bumpy and very dirty on the Friday on top of that. In such conditions, mistakes can happen easily. Getting a perfect lap together isn't easy, especially with a car that hasn't been properly set up yet. The brakes didn't work perfectly and the clutch doesn't fully work to my liking either."
In the rookie session, Alexandre Imperatori completed his duties for the team well as usual. The driver from Freiburg was third fastest among the 14 drivers. "The most important thing is that he got the car over the 30 laps without any trouble", said Max Welti. Imperatori twice lost control of his car in the chicane before the main straight, but avoided any excursions into the gravel trap.
The Olympic spirit that can be found within the ranks of the A1 fraternity was proven by another example: Mexico was sidelined from first practice as the wiring loom for the car wasn't available in time. The same thing had happened to the Swiss team at Zandvoort. Therefore, Max Welti offered to give the Swiss car to the Mexican team on Friday afternoon, after the Mexicans had also been unable to race at Zandvoort. This allowed David Garza to get a little bit used to the track and the car before qualifying.