BUMPY RIDE CONTINUES FOR NZL IN CHENGDU Qualifying has not rewarded A1 Team New Zealand as hoped, in the build up for racing at the Chengdu circuit in China's Sichuan province today for Round Two of the A1GP championship. Hamilton born...
BUMPY RIDE CONTINUES FOR NZL IN CHENGDU
Qualifying has not rewarded A1 Team New Zealand as hoped, in the build up for racing at the Chengdu circuit in China's Sichuan province today for Round Two of the A1GP championship.
Hamilton born driver Chris van der Drift struggled to get the best out of Black Beauty on the challenging track, and saw his qualifying lap times bumped down the order as three of the four ten minute sessions progressed.
The qualifying format featured in A1GP racing allows four ten minute sessions, with drivers completing just one 'flying' lap per session, where they set their qualifying time. The best time set by each nation in one of the first two sessions counts towards their starting position in the Sprint Race. The starting order for the longer Feature Race is determined by their best time from either of the second two Qualifying sessions.
New Zealand will start from eighth place in the Sprint race, after the second qualifying session was abandoned following a delay in recovering the car of Team Italy which was succumbed to suspension damage. Team Ireland will start from the Pole Position.
Initial changes to the chassis setup of Black Beauty were to van der Drift's liking, and changed the balance of the car to give too much front end grip. Subsequent changes to refine the balance did not improve the car as they were intended to.
The first of the two Qualifying sessions for the feature race saw van der Drift sit in finish in sixteenth place. He improved one place in the second of the two Feature Race qualifying sessions to qualify fifteenth, after reverting to the car setup from the first qualifying session.
Great Britain will start from Pole for the Feature Race, alongside Sprint Race top qualifier Ireland.
With two races to be contested on Sunday, a steady approach will be taken by the New Zealand team. The challenging nature of the race track means staying out of trouble for the entire race should reap rewards for teams.
John Sears, Team Manager
"We are looking forward to what will be an eventful race tomorrow and will pushing our hardest to make up as much ground as possible"
"With a pit stop in the sprint race and confidence in the Chris and the team, we are certainly capable of achieving a solid result"