A1 Team Australia finishes in the top 10 with new driver LAGUNA SECA, CALIFORNIA, 13 March 2006: Ryan Briscoe has had an impressive start in the A1 Grand Prix of Nations, finishing the feature race in eighth place and earning A1 Team...
A1 Team Australia finishes in the top 10 with new driver
LAGUNA SECA, CALIFORNIA, 13 March 2006: Ryan Briscoe has had an impressive start in the A1 Grand Prix of Nations, finishing the feature race in eighth place and earning A1 Team Australia three valuable competition points in the second last race of the inaugural series.
The weather over the weekend at the Mazda Laguna Seca track was an issue for the drivers. Starting on Friday's practise, with a freak snow storm meaning the second session had to be cancelled.
In Saturday's qualifying session Ryan was the first man out in the opening session, and while he was also the first man to come off the track, he managed to recover with style to finish the day fifth fastest. This was A1 Team Australia's best result in qualifying since the first race of the series at Brands Hatch, last September.
A1 Team Australia has been trying to secure Ryan for quite some time but due to other commitments have had to wait until Laguna Seca before getting him in the car. On the announcement Ryan said: "I would like to thank A1 Team Australia for giving me the opportunity to represent my country in the World Cup of Motorsport and I look forward to successful results for the team and our sponsor, Foster's."
Alan Jones, Team Australia's principal said: "We are very pleased to have Ryan in the car. He has slotted in perfectly and adapted to a new car on a track he has never raced on before with a great deal of professionalism. The other contribution which has been very welcomed is his feedback to the engineers. This is one of the reasons we were able to start Sunday's race from the third row of the grid."
Sunday's racing started with a slippery and wet track, and as the competition began for the Sprint race the skies opened. This made racing quite a challenge for Ryan who has not raced in the wet for several years, as Indy Car racing does not allow drivers to race in the rain.
Ryan Briscoe finished tenth in the Sprint Race, picking up one point for Team Australia in his first race for the team. In the feature race Ryan did well to avoid the spinning Thomas Enge -- A1 Team Czech Republic driver - on his way to a hard fought eighth place.
Alan Jones commented: "Ryan was posting second and third fastest lap times consistently throughout the race and considering he missed the start, finishing eighth was a great result."
Ryan joins Perth local, Karl Reindler, as the two drivers for A1 Team Australia. 20 year old Reindler tested with the team back at the start of the season but due to other commitments is yet to drive 'in anger' for Team Australia.
In other news from the race, Team France has won the inaugural A1 Grand Prix Championship after coming second in the Sprint race. They now have an unassailable lead going into the final race which will be held on April 2nd in Shanghai. Team Mexico are the other winners from the weekend taking out both the sprint and the feature race on a rain sodden track.