A1 Team Japan arrived at the Dubai Autodrome earlier this week to find a state-of-the art race track with all possible modern facilities and an impressive lay-out. Young Japanese driver Hayanari Shimoda endured a tough start to his A1 Grand Prix...
A1 Team Japan arrived at the Dubai Autodrome earlier this week to find a state-of-the art race track with all possible modern facilities and an impressive lay-out.
Young Japanese driver Hayanari Shimoda endured a tough start to his A1 Grand Prix season in Eastern Creek Australia with a huge accident and ended his weekend with a short visit to the hospital. Fully recovered from his ordeal, luck was again in short supply for the fifth round in Malaysia two weeks later when a thunderstorm in the middle of the qualifying sessions ruined his chances of a good starting position. Despite a storming start at the Sepang Cirucit, A1 Team Japan was left outside of the points scoring positions. With the A1 grids getting tighter for each race weekend, the team is working hard to try to improve their performance for the sixth and last round before the Christmas and New Year break.
The Dubai Autodrome circuit is one of the most modern and challenging in the world. Opened only just over a year and a half ago in March 2004, the circuit boasts grandstands accommodating over 7000 spectators and FIA sanctioned wide asphalt run-off areas. The circuit is centrally located only 25 minutes away from central Dubai and the patron of the facilities is no less than the Crown Prince of Dubai, His Highness General Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
As for most of the other A1GP drivers, this is the first time at the Dubai Autodrome for me. The track looks pretty amazing I must say, but also very challenging. I wouldn't have expected anything else from Dubai as the city is one of a kind. I have done some GP2 testing in between Malaysia and Dubai so I feel up to speed and I am very much looking forward to my third A1GP race this weekend.
Malcolm Swetnam: (Team Manager, A1 Japan):
It's the first time here in Dubai for everyone in the team and we don't really know what to expect yet. Hayanari will be tested to the limit I'm sure as the circuit contains six different configurations and is designed to allow three circuits to operate simultaneously and independently from each other. This will make it very challenging for even the most experienced of A1 drivers, but I'm sure a lot of fun too. We are also pleased to notice that they have wide asphalt run-off areas here which should make it safe for Hayanari should he make any mistakes whilst learning the track!