Taupo: Team USA Saturday report

USA to start 16th in New Zealand TAUPO, New Zealand-After a disappointing day in Taupo, A1 TEAM USA will start from 16th position Sunday in the A1GP-World Cup of Motorsport Sprint Race in New Zealand's first-ever A1GP. A1GP qualifies with a ...

USA to start 16th in New Zealand

TAUPO, New Zealand-After a disappointing day in Taupo, A1 TEAM USA will start from 16th position Sunday in the A1GP-World Cup of Motorsport Sprint Race in New Zealand's first-ever A1GP. A1GP qualifies with a unique system that requires two laps. There are four 15-minute sessions in which to post laps and the best two are added together to determine position on the grid.

TEAM USA's new driver, Ryan Hunter-Reay, had a promising practice early Saturday, steadily making improvements in every corner to finish in 11th place. In the qualifying round, however, Hunter-Reay met with unexpected oversteer on his first run. The team then made necessary changes, and improved significantly on the second run, but gains expected from new tires in Q3 did not materialize. The oversteer then returned for Hunter-Reay's 4th run as the team finished the day on a sour note despite all of their hard work.

"We're all disappointed with the result for qualifying, because we know the speed is there to be in the top 10," said Hunter-Reay. "In Qual 2, we were 9th quick, and after that we experienced some inconsistencies in the balance of the car which unfortunately caught us out. Had we matched our time from Q2, we would have been P11. We're going to work on improving the car for tomorrow."

"It was a tough day for A1 TEAM USA," owner Rick Weidinger said. "But we have two races tomorrow and I'm confident that we can make big gains to put ourselves in position to walk away with some Championship points this weekend."

The weekend's racing action for A1 TEAM USA culminates on Sunday, January 21st with the 20-minute Sprint Race in the morning and the 70-minute Feature Race in the afternoon. The outcome of the Sprint Race at 11 AM local time (5PM EST Saturday) will determine the grid for the Feature Race at 3 PM local time (9PM EST Saturday).

-credit: team usa

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Series A1GP
Drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay , Rick Weidinger