Beijing: Team Ireland Friday preview

Beijing's A1GP practice curtailed by track problems Beijing, China, 10 November; Problems with the track layout resulted in practice for this weekend's A1GP China being curtailed after only three laps today when the competitors found it almost...

Beijing's A1GP practice curtailed by track problems

Beijing, China, 10 November; Problems with the track layout resulted in practice for this weekend's A1GP China being curtailed after only three laps today when the competitors found it almost impossible to negotiate the extremely tight hairpin which comes at the end of the track's high speed loop. Ireland's John O'Hara was one of those to take part in the session, the Kildare driver managing to cope with the narrow exit by flicking his 550bhp A1GP car through the tight apex. Others were not so fortunate, several cars unable to make it through the turn.

"It is frustrating because the rest of the track is good, but for sure the hairpin is a problem and it was chaos down there once a couple of cars didn't make it around," said O'Hara. If they can get that sorted for tomorrow morning I think it will be a good circuit to race on, although it is narrow everywhere and overtaking will be difficult. I also hope that there is sufficient practice tomorrow for me to complete the Rookie Test session before handing over to Michael Devaney."

After practice was red flagged and then cancelled the team managers attended a meeting hosted by A1GP's David Clare at which a number of options to resolve the problem were discussed. These included widening the track or lengthening it to include a much wider space available at a junction just beyond the hairpin.

"It is very disappointing for both the teams and our hosts here in China that these problems have arisen but it was clear when we arrived that the hairpin was unsuitable for an A1GP car," said A1 Team Ireland's Mark Gallagher. I hope for the sake of A1GP and the organisers that the problem can be rectified overnight without drastically altering the track. They have clearly put a lot of work into this so it's a shame that this issue has halted the opening day of practice."

-credit: www.a1teamireland.ie

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Michael Devaney , John O'Hara , David Clare