JARVIS TOPS PRACTICE SESSIONS AS A1GP KICKS OFF IN MEXICO CITY Mexico City, Mexico: - Oliver Jarvis puts in impressive practice performance as A1GP returns to venue of A1 Team Great Britain's maiden win, topping the afternoon session...
JARVIS TOPS PRACTICE SESSIONS AS A1GP KICKS OFF IN MEXICO CITY
Mexico City, Mexico: - Oliver Jarvis puts in impressive practice performance as A1GP returns to venue of A1 Team Great Britain's maiden win, topping the afternoon session Round eight of the 2007/08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport got underway today as teams participated in two free practice sessions at the Mexico City circuit in Mexico.
Oliver Jarvis and Duncan Tappy were in action for A1 Team Great Britain as the series returns to the track which saw GBR take its maiden A1GP race victory a year ago. Drivers took to the newly configured track, which includes the addition of a chicane, for the first time this morning in warm, sunny conditions for the rookie practice session. Duncan Tappy made his debut for A1 Team GBR in the two 25-minute sessions. Running on a dirty track in the first segment, Duncan acquainted himself with the A1GP car, learnt the Mexico City circuit, and bedded brakes for the team.
During the short session Duncan made steady progress and set a lap of 1:24.253, putting him sixth fastest in the session, a tenth of a second behind session leader Wesleigh Orr, driving for South Africa. In Duncan's second session, he once again made a steady start, bedding a further set of brakes for the team. He was able to push harder for his fifth lap onwards but, after a stint in the pits for set-up changes in the middle of the session, he emerged in traffic and was unable to set a competitive lap time. Duncan finished the session in P14 after setting a fastest lap of 1:24.553, 1.7 seconds behind leader's Team Italy, with Davide Rigon at the wheel.
For the afternoon session, Oliver Jarvis took over driving duties, returning to the track on which he took GBR's first ever win last year. He immediately showed his pace on familiar ground, and was in P4 on his third lap before the session was red flagged when the Czech Republic car hit the wall. He was back out on track as soon as the session re-started and made steady improvements, topping the table on his seventh lap with a time of 1:22.026. Although he was briefly toppled during the session by South Africa and Switzerland, Oliver was back on top with five minutes to go after setting a time of 1:21.431, five hundredths of a second faster that Switzerland's Neel Jani.
Oliver Jarvis: "I'm happy to be back in Mexico again where GBR scored our first ever win last year. But I'm slightly disappointed that it's not the same circuit to the one we drove last year. I can understand the need to put in a chicane before the very fast last corner, but the changes made to turns 4 and 5 are disappointing with the bad surface. However, its still a fantastic track and I'm pleased to be at the top of the times. There is still a lot to do and it will be close, but I'm sure we can improve the car for tomorrow and stay at the top."
Duncan Tappy: "The whole experience has been amazing so far, from mixing in with the British team, who are all great and I've got along with everyone, to actually driving the A1GP car. I was surprised that the car didn't seem as quick as I thought it was going to, but with the high altitude here I don't think the engine was as powerful as it usually is. There were no real dramas in the rookie sessions, I just went out there to do a sensible, solid job for the team, which I think I did. Unfortunately the second 25-minute session didn't really reflect the true pace because of all the yellow flags and traffic, otherwise I think we could have been good for 5th or 6th or event higher if we'd had a proper run."
Katie Clements, Team Principal: "Duncan did a good job for us this morning and we were very happy with his approach to the sessions and his performance out on track - it's a shame as P13 didn't do justice to his pace. It is great for us to come back to Mexico, where Oliver won GBR's first race last year. We couldn't have asked for a better start to the weekend this time around, and we are very confident ahead of tomorrow's qualifying."
Saturday's qualifying starts at 1415 local time (1215 GMT) with Sunday's 20 minute Sprint race starting at 1100 local time (Sunday 0900 GMT) and the 70 minute Feature race starting at 1500 local time (1300 GMT).
Sky Sports will broadcast all the live action from Mexico City, from 8pm on Saturday 15 March and from 8pm on Sunday 16 March on Sky Sports 3. This weekend is the final opportunity to enter the Sky Sports competition that has been running since the start of the 2007-08 A1GP season for a chance to win GBR Hospitality at the season finale at Brands Hatch on 4 May.