Canada Penalized in Oz Qualifying Eastern Creek, Australia (Saturday 2 February, 2008) -- Qualifying for Round 6 of the 2007-08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport proved to be dramatic for A1 Team Canada with Robert Wickens collecting a 15th ...
Canada Penalized in Oz Qualifying
Eastern Creek, Australia (Saturday 2 February, 2008) -- Qualifying for Round 6 of the 2007-08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport proved to be dramatic for A1 Team Canada with Robert Wickens collecting a 15th place Sprint start followed by 21st on the grid for Sunday's Feature race after a penalty for blocking dropped him from eighth at Australia's Eastern Creek International Raceway.
With Canada sitting 12th overall in the A1GP Nations Standings and Toronto's Wickens collecting two podium finishes in his first six race starts, the team was hoping for another strong qualifying outing to target two points scoring finishes at the 3.93km track tomorrow. Sprint qualifying initially looked promising with Robert sixth fastest after his first run but he'd ultimately drop back to 15th on the grid after his second run with the pole going to France's Loic Duval.
Feature qualifying was a more competitive affair for Canada with Wickens overcoming grip issues to collect a fourth row grid start with the eighth fastest time from the 22 nations but he was subsequently penalized by the race stewards for ignoring blue flags blocking Brazil in the process. Stripped of the eighth fastest time, Canada is left languishing down in 21st for the 70-minute Feature race with New Zealand's Jonny Reid on pole.
Commenting after qualifying Wickens said; "We were struggling a lot more than expected and now we have two very tough grid slots. We made improvements through the whole session but we obviously still have some work to do. It just seemed we couldn't quite get a hold on track conditions like some others could, struggling with overall grip. The balance was pretty decent it was just the grip level wasn't there."
Simon Cayzer, Canada's Team Manager reflected; "We did quite a lot of work this morning on older tires to try and help with our race pace. We're still struggling with tire drop off, and not getting the level of grip consistently that we need to be running at the top. We're going to do a bit of analysis tonight and see if we can put a good race car together for Robert as that's what he needs. We did make some changes in the last outing which gave us P8, but with the penalty things are tougher!"
-credit: team canada