Track time cut short for Team Brasil in South Africa After a successful rookie practice session and a promising start to afternoon practice, A1 Team Brasil's track time was unfortunately cut short when Bruno Junqueira hit the wall in Durban...
Track time cut short for Team Brasil in South Africa
After a successful rookie practice session and a promising start to afternoon practice, A1 Team Brasil's track time was unfortunately cut short when Bruno Junqueira hit the wall in Durban on the trick street circuit. Teams were in action for the first time today at the South African track for round seven of the championship.
Xandi Negrão made his A1GP come-back, taking part in this morning rookie practice. It was Xandi's second outing for Team Brasil, following his rookie debut in Brno, Czech Republic in October 2006. The 22-year-old put in an impressive performance, especially considering his inexperience in the car. He set the sixth fastest time in each of the two 25-minute sessions, and improved his times lap on lap.
Bruno then took over driving duties for this afternoon's one-hour practice. He knows the track as he raced for Team Brasil last year in Durban, finishing seventh in the feature race, and he was right on the pace today. Unfortunately, on turn ten of his sixth lap, while sitting fourth in the standings, he hit the left rear wheel on the concrete wall which then sent him into the opposite wall where he hit the front right corner.
It was a disappointment to Bruno and the team as they lost forty minutes of track time, however, Bruno will be back in the car for tomorrow morning's practice where he will make the most of the time available ahead of the afternoon's qualifying.
Bruno Junqueira: "There's never a good time, but this was definitely not the right time to crash the car. I passed a car on turn nine and then when I got to turn ten I slid into the wall, I don't think I was going too fast so I am just disappointed because we were looking very quick. I'm just going to look ahead to doing a much better job tomorrow."
Xandi Negrão: "The last time I drove the A1 car was 18 months ago and the car feels much better this time around. I kept improving lap by lap and I really enjoyed driving out there. It's a difficult track for sure, but I learnt it quickly and set some competitive times. I will help the team now however I can over the rest of the weekend."
Emerson Fittipaldi, Team Principal: "Xandi did a very good job after being out of the car for a very long time and we're really happy with his performance. Clemente Jr is still part of the team and has been doing a good job, but we wanted to give Xandi another chance. I'm frustrated about this afternoon because we really needed the laps but I've spoken to Bruno and it was just a mistake - he lost the back end. It's tough to recover, but the good news is that he knows the track and the car well and I am confident we can still be competitive and make the most of tomorrow."