A1 Team Brasil welcomes Juninho as round six kicks off A1 Team Brasil has moved from meeting a World Cup winner to getting the next round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport underway in under 24 hours. Race driver Sergio Jimenez met up with...
A1 Team Brasil welcomes Juninho as round six kicks off
A1 Team Brasil has moved from meeting a World Cup winner to getting the next round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport underway in under 24 hours. Race driver Sergio Jimenez met up with Juninho, a member of the Brazilian 2002 FIFA World Cup winning team, before moving to the Eastern Creek circuit in Australia with team-mate Clemente Jr for the first official practice day of round six of the championship.
Juninho and his Sydney FC team-mate Patrick will be attending the Australian round of the championship as a guest of Team Brasil on Sunday, and took the opportunity at A1GP's welcome event 'Ignition' to meet up with the team's lead driver ahead of the weekend. Following the meeting Sergio met up with the team's rookie driver Clemente Jr to get the action underway with Friday's practice sessions.
Clemente was first up in the morning for the two 25-minute rookie driver sessions. The first of the two segments was held on a damp track after steady morning rainfall, and Clemente took out the A1 Team Brasil car using a full wet set-up. His aim was to learn the technical 2.4mile track and, although the track began to dry towards the end of the segment, Clemente remained on wets until the end. The team then fitted new brakes for Clemente to bed for the afternoon session and, despite a dry track, the team opted to remain with a wet car set-up due to the limited time between sessions.
Sergio then took over driving duties for the afternoon one-hour practice. Eastern Creek is another new track for Sergio and he set off to learn the circuit on new rubber, as per the regulations. This meant that drivers who already had experience of the circuit could use their advantage to set competitive lap times early on. Later on in the session Sergio moved onto the planned set-up programme and the team was pleased with the results of the session. The team will participate in the final one-hour practice tomorrow morning before moving onto qualifying for Sunday's sprint and feature races.
Sergio Jimenez: "It's a really good track here at Eastern Creek; really challenging and fast and the first corner is very nice, full throttle at 260kph. There are some bumps in the middle that we have to be careful with but I'm really enjoying it. When we started practice we had a little bit of oversteer and some understeer but we managed to improve that. The key here though is that the best of the tyres is when they are new because the track is so abrasive and I was learning the track on my new tyres. Most people ahead of me knew the track and set their fastest laps at the beginning so, despite the position, I'm happy with the start to the weekend and we should be able to do well tomorrow."
Clemente Faria Jr: "I had a very good practice session today, the car felt good and I did everything the team asked me to do. I spent the first session learning the track and it's actually quite a difficult track with blind corners and it's very bumpy in places. It's also a very fast circuit and I've really enjoyed the session and am happy with my improvement since the last race."
Gary Davies, Race Engineer: "After learning the track well in the first session and setting a good time, Clemente then went on to do a very good job for us in the second session, bedding in the brakes for Sergio. When we got to second practice, it was a new track for Sergio as well. He learnt it very quickly but did not get to use brand new tyres like the quicker guys who already knew the track, which explains the position. The pace was very good though and we are expecting to be in the top six tomorrow morning."