Solid Friday practice for Canada ahead of Indonesian defense
Friday 08 December, 2006 -- A1 Team Canada enjoyed a competitive Friday practice session in Indonesia ahead of Sunday's fifth round of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport at the Sentul International Circuit.
James Hinchcliffe posted the seventh fastest time in the rookie-only session on Friday morning, the 20-year-old from Toronto enjoying his first taste of the 4.12km Indonesian track, before Vancouver's Sean McIntosh, winner of last season's A1GP Feature race at Sentul, took over for the rest of the weekend's on-track activities beginning with the afternoon's first official practice session.
McIntosh (21) recorded 24 laps in the hour-long session collecting a fastest time of 1m18.455s to place seventh from the 21-car field of nations, the competition as fierce as ever in A1GP with the top 15 entries all lapping within a second of each other. Great Britain and France traded fastest lap times throughout the day with the French team, piloted by Nicolas Lapierre, eventually scoring top honors with a hot lap of 1m17.992s.
Having scored A1 Team Canada's sole A1GP victory to-date in Indonesia last season, McIntosh declared himself satisfied with the early preparations for the defense of his Feature win. "There's still a bit of work to do but overall it's been a good start to the weekend," he commented. "We definitely had a good set-up today, working towards our best time late in the session. We should be higher up tomorrow as we had one of the fastest cars on-track towards the end of the day!"
James Hinchcliffe was similarly pleased with his run stating, "The rookie session went pretty well as I got to grips with the circuit! There's definitely more to come from the car and Sean should be up to speed pretty quickly given he's raced and won here before."