A1 Team Australia sets fastest time in Durban to begin Australia Day weekend! DURBAN, South Africa - January 27, 2006: Australia Day came a day late for A1 Team Australia, with Will Davison setting the fastest time in the second practice session...
A1 Team Australia sets fastest time in Durban to begin Australia Day weekend!
DURBAN, South Africa - January 27, 2006: Australia Day came a day late for A1 Team Australia, with Will Davison setting the fastest time in the second practice session for the A1 Grand Prix of Nations, South Africa in very wet conditions in the seaside port of Durban this afternoon.
After the first session saw drivers get their first taste of the testing layout in the rain, the conditions for the second session worsened, with heavy rain falling, causing a few nervous moments for many drivers. Davison's time of 1:30.520 was six-tenths of a second faster than Portugal's Alvaro Parente and the young Melbournite was content with the day's work:
"Considering the conditions, the car was great," said a pleased Davison. "We proved how good it was by setting the time we did. It all bodes well for qualifying tomorrow, let's hope we can continue in the same manner and get ourselves to the front of the grid, as that will be critical on this circuit for Sunday."
Christian Jones started a great day off for the Foster's sponsored A1 Team Australia car by setting sixth fastest time in the opening practice session, surviving a close shave on the way. Jones too felt very happy with the car and his performance:
"I'm very pleased with the performance of course," said Jones after his session one effort. "I think the track is a great layout and will provide for some entertaining and action packed racing."
Both Davison and Jones had to work closely with one another and the team's engineers to get the setup right on the car, something that Team Principal, Alan Jones said was crucial to the success of the team today.
"Both Christian and Will displayed a great deal of maturity in getting the setup right on the car," said Jones. "The great display of mateship to get the car going as well as it did was one of the more pleasing aspects of the day and showed a true Aussie spirit. It's great to kick off our Australia Day weekend celebrations by being fastest in the second session and let's hope it continues throughout the weekend!"
The forecast for the remainder of the weekend predicts the conditions clearing, but there is still a possibility the rain may hang around. Today's conditions have left the fancied A1 Grand Prix runners scratching their heads. It's also left team boss Jones with a difficult decision to make ahead of tomorrow's qualifying sessions, one that he felt he had to sleep on before making a final decision.
In any case, it has been one of A1 Team Australia's finest performances since the beginning of the inaugural A1 Grand Prix season and whilst much of the Australia relaxes with plenty of Foster's product throughout the weekend, it is the perfect way for the Australia Day weekend to begin for our team in The World Cup of Motorsport!