Dublin; January 30th 2007; After a well deserved break taking in the sights in New Zealand, A1 Team Ireland have made the comparatively short trip to Australia to prepare for this weekends seventh round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, at ...
Dublin; January 30th 2007; After a well deserved break taking in the sights in New Zealand, A1 Team Ireland have made the comparatively short trip to Australia to prepare for this weekends seventh round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, at Sydney's Eastern Creek International Raceway. Despite a double retirement in New Zealand the Irish squad were on the pace all weekend, setting the 3rd fastest time in practice, and will be looking to translate that speed into results this time out.
The 3.93km anticlockwise circuit in the suburbs of Sydney contains a challenging mix of high and low speed corners. Richard Lyons has experienced the track before, testing an Australian V8 Supercar last year, and has the advantage of still being classed an A1GP rookie. He'll have a chance to reacquaint himself with the track on Friday morning, and will be supported by Reserve Driver John O'Hara. John has continued to win the admiration of the team with his professional and focussed approach over the race weekends and he'll be returning to the cockpit once Richard's rookie status expires.
Richard Lyons: "It's been a busy couple of weeks for me with the race in Taupo, followed by Super GT testing in Malaysia and now on to here. It's clear that the team is working very well and we unlocked a lot of pace from the car last time out. We just need to keep that momentum going now and, reliability permitting, we'll be in the hunt for points in both the sprint and feature races. It is also good to be going to a track that I have some experience of driving."
Gary Anderson, Technical Director: "I enjoyed my first A1GP race, despite the frustration of not getting a result. This weekend we're all a bit more used to working together, we've got some good momentum from the last race so I see no reason why we can't challenge the front runners."
Team Principal Mark Gallagher will return to the paddock, after missing the New Zealand race to concentrate on securing support from corporate Ireland for the 2007/08 season. It will be Mark's first race alongside new engineering boss Gary Anderson since the 2003 Monaco Grand Prix, when both were on the management board of Jordan Grand Prix.
"Having broken into the top ten in qualifying for the first time in New Zealand, repeating that must be our first target," said Mark. "Our pit stop was also excellent and the team really performed well. Gary's a great motivator and as long as the car is reliable I feel we can start collecting valuable points from each outing. Richard Lyons' experience has helped move the team forward,
and credit must be given to John O'Hara who understood the need for the team to run Richard in all the sessions whilst we improve our competitiveness. We're looking forward to seeing John back in the car soon."
-credit: team ireland