A1 Team USA's Giebler to start from 6th position ZANDVOORT, The Netherlands--Phil Giebler drove A1 Team USA to sixth starting position in a 23-car field Saturday for the opening race of the A1GP season at Circuit Park Zandvoort. "I think it's...
A1 Team USA's Giebler to start from 6th position
ZANDVOORT, The Netherlands--Phil Giebler drove A1 Team USA to sixth starting position in a 23-car field Saturday for the opening race of the A1GP season at Circuit Park Zandvoort.
"I think it's a solid starting position for the first race," Giebler said. "It's nice to know we got the times to get up there. It's my best starting position in A1GP. It puts us in the window for a good result in the sprint race."
Sunday's sprint race lasts 20 minutes. The grid for the subsequent 70- minute feature race will be determined by a points system based upon qualifying and finish and fastest laps in the sprint race.
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.
Giebler, of Oxnard, Calif., had the top lap in the second session at 1:27.884, an average speed of 109.78 mph on the 2.6-mile, 11-turn road course. His second fastest lap was in the fourth session at 1:28.404 for an aggregate of 2:56.288. It was .776 of a second slower than the pole-winning time by A1 South Africa's Adrian Zaugg. Giebler originally placed seventh but moved up one place due to a technical infringement by the Swiss team.
"I'm fine with sixth because Phil's a good racer and there's no doubt he'll move up," A1 Team USA owner Rick Weidinger said. "It puts us on the dance floor and we'll be ready to rock 'n' roll Sunday. It's the first time the team, driver and engineer (Greg Wheeler) have worked together. It's something we can build upon and it shows that we can be very strong this season."
A1 Team USA made the cockpit a better fit for Giebler and the Lola-Zytek a better fit for the course overnight.
"I got comfortable in the car," Giebler said. "We cut a lot of pieces out of the seat. Yesterday (Friday) basically, I couldn't turn the steering wheel. The team gave me a race car that felt like a race car and I was able to drive it the way I wanted."
Giebler took .6 of a second off his fastest lap on Friday on his eighth time around Saturday with 34 minutes remaining in practice. Giebler went to P1 in the final minute, on his 19th of 20 laps with a 1:29.605, 107.67 mph.
"The team is the best in the business and they gave me what I told them the car needed," Giebler said. "We put on new tires at the end and had that fast lap. The progress this team has made from Friday has been amazing."