A1 TEAM AUSTRALIA: DAY 2 OBJECTIVES MET - BRING ON DAY 3! * Hackett and Jones pilot A1 Team Australia car * Alan Jones: Objectives met, bodes well for positive results tomorrow * First rolling start for A1 Grand Prix a 'true ...
A1 TEAM AUSTRALIA: DAY 2 OBJECTIVES MET - BRING ON DAY 3!
* Hackett and Jones pilot A1 Team Australia car
* Alan Jones: Objectives met, bodes well for positive results tomorrow
* First rolling start for A1 Grand Prix a 'true spectacle'
* Engineers impressive under pressure
Le Castellet -- August 25, 2005: A1 Team Australia have completed a full day's testing at the Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track in Le Castellet, France with Christian Jones and Peter Hackett behind the wheel.
With exactly one month until the first A1 Grand Prix race at Brands Hatch in England, the 20 teams on hand were beginning to dial into their race setups -- A1 Team Australia no exception.
On the back of yesterday's solid results from both Will Power and Will Davison, the team went into the second day to continue the development of A1 Team Australia's car, concentrating on various setups with Jones and Hackett in an attempt to find the correct balance that will give Australia the winning edge come Brands Hatch.
The A1 Grand Prix car's now almost legendary reliability continued -- Jones setting the fastest time for A1 Team Australia of 1:26.990 -- the team satisfied with the consistent pace established throughout both sessions on the 4.157 kilometre 2D sc layout -- one of the 40 different track layouts available on the state of the art specialist testing circuit.
Throughout the day, 16 of the 20 teams formed up for the first ever A1 Grand Prix 'rolling start' -- a true spectacle according to Alan Jones -- A1 Team Australia's Seat Holder. "It looked fantastic. I could just imagine what its going to look like as all 25 cars come down the hill and charge into turn one at Eastern Creek on November 6 -- the sound of those V8 engines will be phenomenal."
Jones is eager for day three to get underway. "Based on the performance of all four drivers over the last two days I think we'll see some very positive results tomorrow to round out the test," said Jones. "The car performed to its usual high standard of reliability and showed consistent pace throughout the day."
The younger Jones was content with his performance. "I feel the work we've done as a team over this week here in France bodes well for a successful beginning to the series. There's a great vibe around the team, we're really getting through a lot of work and to date, the test has been very successful -- we've achieved every objective we've set ourselves, I'm looking forward to our results on the final day of this test."
Hackett -- the current leader of the Australian GT Sportscar Championship -- was honoured to drive the A1 Team Australia car. "I can't explain how grateful I am to be given the opportunity to drive this car. It performed faultlessly, it's an incredible car to drive and the fact that I was driving a race car emblazoned with the green and gold of Australia made it all the more special."
With A1 Team Australia's second car in the final stages of construction by Lola and four drivers on hand in France, the challenge for A1 Team Australia's engineers is to make the drivers comfortable behind the wheel, something that -- according to Alan Jones -- they handled with aplomb. "I have been incredibly impressed with our engineers and the way in which they have been able to meet the requirements for all our drivers," said Jones. "It isn't an easy thing to do, especially since two of the drivers here have never driven an A1 Grand Prix car before. I think they've done an outstanding job."
Tomorrow will round out what has been a sensational week for all 20 A1 Grand Prix teams on hand, with everyone buoyed ahead of Brands Hatch in just one month's time.
Alan Jones -- A1 Team Australia Seat Holder: "Based on the performance of all four drivers over the last two days I think we'll see some very positive results tomorrow to round out the test. The car performed to its usual high standard of reliability and showed consistent pace all day long. Our engineers have impressed me, particularly the way in which they have been able to meet the requirements for all our drivers. What they are doing is not an easy thing to do, especially considering that two of the drivers here have never driven an A1 Grand Prix car before. Their ability to service each driver's requirements and turn the feedback into changes and move forward I cannot speak highly enough of. The engineers too are being rewarded with the feedback they are receiving from all drivers, which I've got to say has been brilliant."
Christian Jones -- A1 Team Australia Test Driver: "Once again it is fantastic to be representing my country, especially now the car is in green and gold. Since we last tested at Silverstone, the car has improved remarkably; the team has done an awesome job. I feel the work we've done as a team over this week here in France bodes well for a successful beginning to the series. There's a great vibe around the team, we're really getting through a lot of work and we've achieved every objective we've set ourselves. Tomorrow should be a great way to round out what has been a good week for all of us and I'm looking forward to the results the team records on the final day of this test."
Peter Hackett -- A1 Team Australia Test Driver: "To drive the A1GP car especially in our nation's sporting colours is quite special. The car was incredible to drive and I achieved the tasks that were set down for me by the team today and it has been a good day all around. I can't explain how grateful I am to A1 Team Australia for giving me this opportunity. As a youngster, I remember watching Australian sporting teams on television and thinking how great it would be to wear the green and gold in motorsport. I'm sure there are some young kids out there now who will watch A1 Grand Prix and will have that opportunity -- it's a great feeling, I've got to tell you, a definite career highlight for me!"