A1 TEAM MALAYSIA SMASHES AYRTON SENNA'S LAP RECORD IN TESTING A1 Team Malaysia returned to the Donington circuit in the UK for a second and final day of pre-season testing in the new A1GP 'Powered by Ferrari' car with driver Fairuz Fauzy behind...
A1 TEAM MALAYSIA SMASHES AYRTON SENNA'S LAP RECORD IN TESTING
A1 Team Malaysia returned to the Donington circuit in the UK for a second and final day of pre-season testing in the new A1GP 'Powered by Ferrari' car with driver Fairuz Fauzy behind the wheel. The team ended the day quickest of the six cars testing, with Fauzy four tenths of a second ahead of the other nations and created history en route, smashing the track's lap record which had stood for 15 years.
Covering close to 500 kilometres over the two days of testing, the team had their first chance to check all the mechanical parts, engine installations and systems. The new car, straight from the garage, ran smoothly and the team were quickly able to start their preliminary testing programme. Wet weather on Tuesday limited the amount of running but it was a productive session, while today the weather was mixed and allowed for some dry laps in the afternoon.
Fauzy set the new lap record at the end of the second day, having put on new rubber for a simulated qualifying run, posting a time of 1 minute 17.474 seconds, to overtake Ayrton Senna's lap time of 1 minute 18.029 set in the 1993 Grand Prix of Europe. With the Donington circuit set to undergo configuration changes for the Formula One British Grand Prix in 2010, it is a record which could stand in the record books for many years.
Fauzy said at the conclusion of the two-day test, "We've made a good start and I've enjoyed these initial runs. We've had fairly good reliability, which is positive, though there have been some problems to deal with as all new cars tend to have technical issues at the beginning. Most of the running that is being done at these early stages is for us to start to understand the characteristics of the car and how it reacts in different conditions.
"We were able to run in the wet and develop a good balance for these conditions, and without rain this afternoon we could then work on a dry set up. Every change we made we went quicker and it kept us at the top of the time sheets. Of course, there were only a few cars running today so we've yet to see how quick we'll be when all cars take to the track.
"I'm pleased with the progress we've made over the course of the two days, but there's a long way to go yet. We've only scratched the surface of getting to grips with the car and we'll be learning more and more each time we run. From now onwards this will be in race conditions, so it's going to be a challenge for us all, and a very exciting one."
A few small technical issues limited the team's running this afternoon, but the A1 Team Malaysia crew was able to resolve the problems and continue with the testing programme. Finishing the test with the quickest car in both wet and dry conditions has given A1 Team Malaysia a positive start to the season and everyone in the team is buoyed by its achievements this week.