Free Practice 1a - Laps: 16 - Position: 5th - Fastest Lap: 1:19.602 (+0.350) Free Practice 1b - Laps: 18 - Position: 7th - Fastest Lap: 1:18.896 (+0.805) Free Practice 2 - Laps: 32 - Position: 15th - Fastest Lap: 1:17.220 (+1.249) A1 Team...
Free Practice 1a - Laps: 16 - Position: 5th - Fastest Lap: 1:19.602 (+0.350)
Free Practice 1b - Laps: 18 - Position: 7th - Fastest Lap: 1:18.896 (+0.805)
Free Practice 2 - Laps: 32 - Position: 15th - Fastest Lap: 1:17.220 (+1.249)
A1 Team Brazil was back on track today as the fourth round of the 2008/09 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport got underway at Taupo Motor Park on New Zealand's North Island. Felipe Guimaraes drove in both the morning's rookie practice sessions and the afternoon's one-hour practice as he began preparations for Sunday's races.
This morning Felipe took part in the two 30-minute rookie practice sessions, the last time he will be eligible to do so as after this weekend he will have competed in more than six A1GP races. The first objective was for Felipe to re-acclimatise to the A1GP Powered by Ferrari car after a two-month break in the calendar and to acquaint himself to the 3.32km circuit. The times were very encouraging, with the young Brazilian running in the top three for the majority of the two sessions.
Second practice was a disjointed affair with red flags shown frequently throughout the hour. This made it difficult for Felipe to get a clean lap and the times at the end of the session did not reflect the team's true performance. However, there is still a lot of work to do tonight and in tomorrow's final practice session before the team embark on the afternoon's all-important qualifying for Sunday's Sprint and Feature races.
Felipe Guimaraes: "I think we made a pretty good start this morning. It could have been better but I think P5 in the first session was good and I felt comfortable in the car. The track is fairly difficult and has a lot of interesting corners. It's very physical but I really like it. We have better grip here than the other races so far this season. Unfortunately this afternoon I did not have the opportunity to set a clean lap due to the red flags, but I think the car is basically good. We have a little bit of oversteer but we are going to work on improving for tomorrow."
Dan Walmsley, Race Engineer: "This morning went quite well although I think we were a little disappointed to be fifth and seventh after consistently being in the top three until the last minute. However, some of the other teams had new tyres left from previous races and they set the times on those late on in the session and were able to jump us. Other than that we were fairly happy. The car seemed good and a lot of the problems that we've been chasing over previous races have been resolved. This afternoon we found some good pace but we moved forward 5% and our opposition moved 10%. We need to catch up that difference and a bit more. The red flags break your rhythm a bit and in the last three runs we didn't have a clear lap so the times don't really reflect what we can do. However, we still wouldn't have challenged for the top three so there is still some work to do ready for tomorrow's final practice and qualifying."