Beijing: Saturday report

A1GP TRACK ACTION SUSPENDED IN BEIJING Beijing: Following overnight modifications to the Jingkai street circuit, the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport's inaugural Beijing race weekend got underway today with the third official practice session. After...

A1GP TRACK ACTION SUSPENDED IN BEIJING

Beijing: Following overnight modifications to the Jingkai street circuit, the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport's inaugural Beijing race weekend got underway today with the third official practice session. After 25 minutes of action, the 90-minute long session was suspended following a red flag resulting from a manhole cover coming loose on the racing line between turns three and four.

The aerodynamics of the A1GP car creates an extreme suction effect, pinning the cars to the track during high speed racing. The manhole lids had been welded to the rim, utilising a method that would cause less damage to the existing infrastructure, however the force of the suction proved too strong, fracturing the welding and loosening the lid. The remainder of the practice session and this afternoon's four qualifying sessions have been cancelled while work is undertaken to secure all the manhole covers on the circuit.

A proven method used during the Durban street race back in January this year will be used to secure the manhole lids. Bolts will be drilled into the gap between the manhole lid and rim and screwed into place, locking the 15 kilo lid into place. Silicon seal with then be injected around the bolt to ensure it is securely positioned. The work will be carried out this afternoon and the A1GP cars are expected back on track tomorrow.

With the cancellation of all four qualifying sessions, the grid for tomorrow's sprint race will be determined by the fastest lap times set in today's practice session. All A1 Teams will be given an extra session on track ahead of tomorrow's Sprint race.

-credit: a1gp

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Series A1GP