Mexico City: Team Ireland preview

Lyons aiming for strong Mexican showing Dublin, March 20th 2007; The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport returns to Mexico this weekend and the teams will have a new circuit to learn, with the venue switching from last years Monterrey...

Lyons aiming for strong Mexican showing

Dublin, March 20th 2007; The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport returns to Mexico this weekend and the teams will have a new circuit to learn, with the venue switching from last years Monterrey to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City. A1 Team Ireland's improved form continued last time out in Durban, with season best grid positions, a top six finish and point in the Sprint Race and very competitive lap times throughout. The pit stop is one of the most crucial points in an A1GP feature race and the Irish crew must currently be the best in the pit lane after some superb work in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

With Mexico City being 7,500 ft above sea level the race weekend promises to be demanding in terms of fitness for the drivers. The track, which was previously an F1 venue and more recently hosted ChampCar and NASCAR racing, has a notoriously bumpy surface so the set up of the cars will be crucial.

Richard Lyons competed in the first round of the Japanese Super GT Championship last weekend, finishing 2nd, before jetting off to rejoin the Irish team in Mexico City.

Richard Lyons: "I was pleased to score my first A1GP point in Durban but it was frustrating not to add to that in the feature race. The team is a lot more competitive now than our results have shown - we just have to push hard again this weekend. I've been doing extra training ahead of this event and after being in the podium in Suzuka last weekend it would be fantastic to get a podium for Ireland this weekend too."

Technical Director Gary Anderson knows the track from his time with Jordan Grand Prix. Andrea de Cesaris drove the iconic Anderson designed Jordan 191 to a 4th placed finish there in 1991.

Gary Anderson: "Mexico is a great track and a real driver's circuit. The fast sweeping corners and the very demanding last corner being banked with an exit speed in excess of 200kph leading onto the main straight means that the driver can really make a difference and influence the overall performance. It is a tough race because the circuit is quite bumpy and this means that driver fitness is very important.

"As for the car, it will be the first time A1 will have visited this circuit and we will have to adapt the set-up to suit the bumps and the fact it has a straight well over one kilometre long, a good high speed balance is very important with as low a drag level as possible.

"It has some good and not so good memories for me, with Jordan in 1991 we finished 4th and in 1992 we blew up 3 Yamaha engines on the way to the grid, I think that more or less covers both ends of the spectrum.

I want to come away from this weekend with good memories and nothing less than a couple of podium finishes will do that and I believe that A1 Team Ireland deserve no less."

Official Reserve Driver John O'Hara will be back behind the wheel in the rookie sessions with Richard having now competed in four races.

John O'Hara: "I can't wait to get back in the car! I've enjoyed being involved at the last few races and have learned a lot watching Gary and Richard working together, but there's no substitute for driving. We're a lot stronger now than we were last time I drove the car and I'm keen to help continue our upturn in performance."

Mark Gallagher, Team Principal: "In terms of pace we are undoubtedly a top six team now, the times we were setting in Durban clearly show that. We've got three more races now to convert that pace into results. It will be great to have John O'Hara back in the car this weekend. It's not easy for a driver to attend race weekends knowing someone else is in the car, but John has been a complete professional since Richard joined the team. He's been fully involved with the team at all the races and is relishing the chance to work even more closely with Gary Anderson."

-credit: team ireland

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Richard Lyons , John O'Hara , Gary Anderson