Paul Ricard test notes 2005-08-25

First Ever Rolling Start for A1 Grand Prix Le Castellet, 25 August - A1 Team Germany chose the second day of the A1 Grand Prix test at the famous Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track to officially announce their seat holder as Willy Webber manager...

First Ever Rolling Start for A1 Grand Prix

Le Castellet, 25 August - A1 Team Germany chose the second day of the A1 Grand Prix test at the famous Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track to officially announce their seat holder as Willy Webber manager to the current F1 champion Michael Schumacher.

Today's announcement followed the extraordinary sound of A1 Grand Prix's first- ever rolling start. Sixteen A1 cars in full race livery jostled for position over the start line simulating the spectacle that will be witnessed at the start of every A1 Grand Prix race.

The day was a huge success for all involved as lap times continued to fall and all the drivers continued to push for the top slot.

'The car has been great today. This kind of test session is invaluable; we are concentrating on doing our own thing and improving the set up of the car. The Team is coming together nicely and I think it's going to be a strong partnership. The car is great to drive. Even round a circuit I don't know I have complete confidence in it, I'm loving being involved in A1 Grand Prix,' said Stephen Simpson, test driver for A1 Team South Africa.

Max Welti, Team Principal for A1 Team Switzerland commented on his team's performance and the reliability of the A1GP car, saying: 'It's been a successful day, we have been testing Romain Grosjean, a young Swiss driver who has developed extremely well in today's test alone, having done a very professional job adapting to a more powerful car. However, the most positive surprise so far has been reliability. It is not often in my 30 years of experience in motorsport that I have come across a piece of technology as reliable as the A1 Grand Prix Car. Compared to all other series that have been launched in recent years, we haven't had any significant problems.'

Speaking at today's press conference, A1 Grand Prix Founder, President and Chairman, Sheikh Maktoum said: 'It is fantastic that Germany is involved in the World Cup of Motorsport particularly as it has such a great motorsport heritage from the Silver Arrows to Michael Schumacher. I'm delighted to have Willy Webber on-board representing Germany and I'm sure his country will be behind him, especially when we reach our second race at EuroSpeedway.'

He continued: 'It was sensational seeing all the cars have their first rolling start today with the French car and the USA 'We the People' duelling for the top position diving into the first hairpin bend. Exactly one month ahead of our opening race at Brands Hatch, A1 Grand Prix is all set to find out which country really is the best on track.'

Willy Webber spoke of his involvement with the Series saying: 'At the beginning, when I heard about A1 grand Prix I have to admit I was sceptical. But now, after what we have seen today, and what I have seen in the past, I can see A1 Grand Prix is a fantastic series. I believe in the idea and it makes me very proud and happy to have the chance to be the team boss of A1 Team Germany.'

A1 Grand Prix CEO, Tony Teixeira concluded saying: 'It is great having Germany involved and we're looking forward to announcing more teams in the coming days giving us a full grid at Brands Hatch. We are over subscribed and the global support we have received is a pleasant surprise.' <pre> Fastest lap times - Thursday 25 August 2005 1 USA 1.24.177 SCOTT SPEED 2 FRANCE 1.24.392 ALEX PREMAT 3 BRAZIL 1.24.574 NELSON PIQUET JR 4 NEW ZEALAND 1.24.590 JONNY REID 5 PORTUGAL 1.24.738 ALVARO PARENTE 6 IRELAND 1.24.772 RALPH FIRMAN 7 NETHERLANDS 1.24.879 JOS VERSTAPPEN 8 SWITZERLAND 1.24.895 ROMAIN GROSJEAN 9 MALAYSIA 1.24.987 FAIRUZ FAUZY 10 LEBANON 1.25.012 KALIL BESCHIR 11 GREAT BRITAIN 1.25.104 ROBBIE KERR 12 GERMANY 1.25.211 TIMO SCHEIDER 13 PAKISTAN 1.25.374 ADAM KHAN 14 SOUTH AFRICA 1.25.757 STEPHEN SIMPSON 15 MEXICO 1.25.891 SALVADOR DURAN 16 INDONESIA 1.26.655 ANANDA MIKOLA 17 INDIA 1.26.959 KARUN CHANDOK 18 AUSTRALIA 1.26.990 CHRISTIAN JONES 19 RUSSIA 1.27.942 ALEXEY VASILIEV 20 CHINA 1.28.202 TENG YI JIANG

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Series A1GP
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Stephen Simpson , Sheikh Maktoum , Max Welti , Tony Teixeira , Romain Grosjean