Canadian Drivers Enjoy Durban Debuts Friday 23 February, 2007 -- A1 Team Canada hit the streets of Durban, South Africa Friday as practice commenced ahead of Sunday's eighth round of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. Quebec's Kevin ...
Canadian Drivers Enjoy Durban Debuts
Friday 23 February, 2007 -- A1 Team Canada hit the streets of Durban, South Africa Friday as practice commenced ahead of Sunday's eighth round of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. Quebec's Kevin Lacroix made his A1GP debut running in the morning's Rookie-Only session followed in the car by Toronto's James Hinchcliffe in the shortened afternoon session.
Driving an open-wheel race car for the first time in several months, Lacroix quickly dialed himself in to the team's 550bhp, V8-powered A1GP car while tackling the demands of the tight, twisting 3.28km street course at the same time. Logging a total of 26 laps during his two 25-minute runs, the 17-year-old from Saint-Eustache ended the Rookie-Only session 14th fastest with a best lap of 1m21.943s -- the team pleased with Kevin's approach and feedback throughout his first competitive outing.
"I really enjoyed my time in the car," stated Lacroix. "Having not driven for a while it felt good to get back into a race car and my confidence was growing with each lap. I'm happy with my lap times considering this was only my second time in an A1GP car and first time at the track. I can't wait to get another shot in Mexico next month."
With Hinchcliffe set to compete in Sunday's Sprint and Feature races, the 20-year-old Champ Car Atlantic standout strapped himself in for the afternoon's official practice session with the same objective as Lacroix, to learn the layout and work on set-up. Unfortunately James' progress was halted when the session was stopped halfway through when parts of the track surface began to break up at Turn 7 -- track officials ending the day's on-track activities to make the necessary repairs.
"I was super impressed with the layout of the circuit," Hinchcliffe commented. "There's a really nice mix of tight turns and fast straights. We started off with our set-up from Beijing earlier in the season as that worked well there but this is a different animal so we were forced to start making some changes. We lost out on track time with the session ending early so there's lots to do tomorrow."
-credit: team canada