An encouraging start A1 Team France took to the track today (Friday) for the opening day's practice for the Mexican round of the World Cup of Motorsport. Nicolas Prost was the first to go out for the 2 rookie sessions in the morning. He then ...
An encouraging start
A1 Team France took to the track today (Friday) for the opening day's practice for the Mexican round of the World Cup of Motorsport. Nicolas Prost was the first to go out for the 2 rookie sessions in the morning. He then handed over to Jonathan Cochet for the afternoon's practice.
The temperature was 20DEG and Nicolas devoted the first part of the session to bedding in discs and brake pads before concentrating on the car's set-up. In the final part he was among the quickest finishing in an excellent fourth place. Cochet then took over for the afternoon. The team deliberately held him back to wait for track conditions to improve, but just when he was about to go out the session was red-flagged. He finally got going and began to make steady progress. The team then called him in for a data acquisition check. Adjusting the set-up took a little time and he only managed a few laps before the end of practice. He finally finished 12th in a time of 1m 22.343s.
Yesterday, the 2 A1GP France team drivers played in a football match in the Azteca stadium. The A1GP team was up against a selection consisting of former Mexican footballers and a few celebrities. The latter won 4-2 and the A1 Team France drivers used the match to get used to one of the weekend's challenges, racing at an altitude.
Olivier Panis, sporting director: "The sessions have been positive. We were on the pace right away. Nicolas did a good job and used his remaining 20 minutes to concentrate on performance. In addition, he gave us very good technical feedback, which will enable us to improve the car for tomorrow. Jonathan settled in fairly quickly. But his lack of experience with the A1GP car means that we lack those extra few tenths to be well placed in terms of performance. It should not be forgotten that it's only his 3rd session in the car. He will continue his learning curve tomorrow before qualifying."
Jonathan Cochet: "I had already driven on this circuit 2 years ago in GrandAm so I soon memorised it, and I was then able to concentrate on the car. It was obvious that I was losing time in the first sector, which has three corners in succession. We're going to work on this point. I'm optimistic for the rest of the weekend as the car's well- balanced."
Nicolas Prost, rookie driver: "It was a very positive session. The fact that I recently drove a Euro F3000 enabled me to get to grips with a car as powerful as the A1GP machine. I reckon I was the quickest man on the track by the end of the session! In fact, after a brief period of getting used to this track that I was racing on for the first time, I really enjoyed myself. The circuit is very physical but also very challenging."