Rice, A1 TEAM USA eager to run at Brno Buddy Rice has waited with eagerness for this weekend's (Oct. 12-14) second round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport season at Brno to arrive. "We're excited to get back on the track and show how we're...
Rice, A1 TEAM USA eager to run at Brno
Buddy Rice has waited with eagerness for this weekend's (Oct. 12-14) second round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport season at Brno to arrive.
"We're excited to get back on the track and show how we're really capable of running," the A1 TEAM USA driver said. "We didn't do that at Zandvoort."
The A1GP opener at the Dutch track wasn't a total loss, but 13th in the Feature race and 22nd in the Sprint was well below expectations for the team.
"Brno will be different for us," Rice said. "It's a three-day event and we have a lot more track time. I haven't been there and that extra hour of practice I'll have on Friday will be a big boost for me and for setting up the 'We The People' car. There are a number of drivers entered with A1GP experience at Brno and we'll gain more from that hour than they will.
"We also have Charlie (Kimball) in the rookie practices on Friday and that will help, too."
Zandvoort was the only two-day event on the A1GP schedule. Rice, driving the Lola-Zytek in the rain for the first time, qualified 19th for both the Sprint and Feature races on Saturday. The track was dry the next day for the race and the 20-minute Sprint became Rice's first run in those conditions at the track.
The team's spirits, however, were lifted in the Feature.
"We had the pace to run at the front in the Feature," the 2004 Indianapolis 500 champion said. "We were running the same pace as the leaders in the first stint and in the third stint, but our second stint wasn't as good. We had problems on our pit stop and that cost us a lot. We'd have finished in the top 10 if we'd had a good pit stop.
"We're going to Brno with a good direction for the car and we've had a race and made two pit stops together. We're a much better team than when we arrived at Zandvoort."
A1 TEAM USA owner Rick Weidinger is also anxious for Brno.
"We're ready to go racing again," Weidinger said. "Brno is an opportunity for us to bounce back with authority. We want to put together a solid weekend, qualify and race strong and score points.
"I'm anxious to see the combination of Buddy and Charlie at work. It will be dynamic, strength assisting strength. Buddy is the wizard with all of his experience and Charlie is the astute book worm. Their talents together may produce exposive results."
The event at Brno's 3.36-mile circuit begins Friday with two 25-minute all-rookie practices with Kimball in the A1 TEAM USA car and continues with a one-hour practice for Rice and the rest of the A1GP race drivers. Saturday, there is an hour of practice and qualifying, which has two 15-minute sessions for each race. The 20-minute Sprint and 70-minute Feature races are Sunday.