Durban: Team Germany Friday report

A1 Team Germany again in leading group in Durban Several problems hindered the first day of practice for round eight of the A1 GP World Cup of Motorsport in South Africa. The Willi Weber managed A1 Team Germany recorded third fastest time around...

A1 Team Germany again in leading group in Durban

Several problems hindered the first day of practice for round eight of the A1 GP World Cup of Motorsport in South Africa. The Willi Weber managed A1 Team Germany recorded third fastest time around the Durban street circuit with nominated driver Nico Hulkenberg, after the second free practice had to be aborted after 30 of the scheduled 60 minutes.

A1 Team Germany had to sit-out the "Rookie Session" -- the first free practice on Friday for newcomers -- for the first time during the 2006/2007 season because previous "Rookie" driver Christian Vietoris can not start in South Africa due to a clash of dates. Nominated driver Nico Hulkenberg, who no longer fulfils the requirements for newcomers, could only make his first exploratory laps of the 3.28 kilometre during second free practice.

Zytek, the series' engine supplier, installed a new 520 hp V8 engine in the back of A1 Team Germany's monoposto after the original unit had reached the maximum permitted mileage. Nico Hulkenberg made a single check-lap to start the session. "Then the engine technicians checked everything was working correctly", reported the 19-year old race driver from Emmerich in Germany. "Afterwards I completed another three laps before returning to the pits to have everything checked again." The "star of tomorrow" went finally on the attack with the A1 GP car on his third outing. He achieved third fastest time with 1:19.350 minutes in the 23 nation field.

"The session was stopped just as we were about to start work on the car set-up because the track surface was breaking up behind one of the chicanes", reported Hulkenberg. "Loc Duval and Richard Lyons, who drive for the France and Ireland teams and are ahead of me on the time sheets, both ran in the 'Rookie Session' and know the circuit a little better as a result. With this in mind our lap time is absolutely okay."

The street circuit that lies within sight of the Indian Ocean on the outskirts of Durban suits Nico Hulkenberg down to the ground. "In general I love street circuits", says the German. "Durban is an incredible circuit on which I really feel at home. It is a genuine drivers' circuit with several very bumpy sections. In the penultimate corner we reach 230 kph in fifth gear -- you need to screw yourself up for it."

-credit: team germany

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Richard Lyons , Christian Vietoris , Nico Hulkenberg