Steep learning curve at Durban Seventeen years old Josef Kral experienced a demanding debut in the colours of the Czech A1GP team. He discovered how hard the walls around the street track at Durban are but he was able to improve lap times ...
Steep learning curve at Durban
Seventeen years old Josef Kral experienced a demanding debut in the colours of the Czech A1GP team. He discovered how hard the walls around the street track at Durban are but he was able to improve lap times afterwards. Durban and its street tack located on the coast of the Indian Ocean offers great surroundings and a unique atmosphere but it is also probably the most demanding track of the A1GP season.
The track is quite narrow in some parts, hard walls are very close and bumps are not making it any easier for the drivers, they have to be focused also on the straights.
Kral, the youngest driver in the field, had a difficult task ahead - to cope with a massive difference in horsepower between the F BMW and A1GP that is almost 400HP and also to avoid possible mistakes because the walls have no mercy. The first rookie session went without problems and the Czech driver did 11 laps with the best one 1:26.088. The second part did not start well and contact with the wall in the first lap meant an early end for Kral.
Young Kral was able to put this unpleasant experience behind him and was fully focused on continuos improvements during the free practice. His confidence was growing and he was shaving tenth after tenth from his maximum. Together with Johny Reid was the busiest man of the session with 28 laps under his belt. The final 21st place is not important the main thing is that with lap 1:22,727 was in touch with competitors ahead. There will be time to analyze the telemetry data now and find place where he can gain the biggest chunk of time.
Josef Kral: "It is a big jump comparing to the Formula BMW. Durban street track is very demanding and also experienced drivers like Johny Reid speak with respect about it. The rookie sessions were user for learning about the car. Unfortunately, I pushed the gas pedal a bit too much in the second session and it was not possible to avoid the wall. I bruised me knee a bit but hopefully it will be okay. I started the free practice on new tyres like everyone else but obviously I was not able to fully use their advantage and I am still in learning process. I was quite happy at the end of the session. I have to improve at one quick corner and maybe we can be close behind the top ten. The quick corner is about confidence in the car and also to get used to higher downforce that the A1GP car produces comparing to the F BMW. I take this weekend as a learning one. I do not expect miracles and also team do not expect them. I am looking forward to Saturday. We have another practice to find improvements before the qualifying and I believe that after study of the telemetry I will be able to go quicker."
Antonin Charouz, seat holder: "Josef is not in an easy position and nobody can expect miracles. He is the youngest driver in the field. I am a bit upset that he crashed today because I had told him about trickiness of the track. On the other hand, he is very young and crashes are part of racing. The most important thing for the rest of the weekend is to keep cool head and try to improve step by step and not to try to do a super lap from zero. Every single lap is important for him and the priority is to finish the races. If he is there till the end, abything can happen, especially on this track."