Solid Start Bodes Well for Canada Mexico City, Mexico -- A1 Team Canada enjoyed a solid start to the eighth round of the 2007-08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport with Markham's Daniel Morad sixth quickest in Friday morning's 'Rookie-Only' session...
Solid Start Bodes Well for Canada
Mexico City, Mexico -- A1 Team Canada enjoyed a solid start to the eighth round of the 2007-08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport with Markham's Daniel Morad sixth quickest in Friday morning's 'Rookie-Only' session before he handed over to Toronto's Robert Wickens, who was subsequently eleventh fastest of the 22 competitors on-track in the afternoon's official practice session at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in Mexico City, Mexico.
The 4.42km circuit, although new to the Canadian racers, held no obstacles for Morad or Wickens with both drivers picking up the layout quickly and posting promising lap times. The morning's rookie session saw Morad first out for the team and he quickly found a front-running pace, ending the first half of the session with the third fastest time. The 17-year-old Formula BMW USA Champion ended his Friday outing with the sixth fastest lap time, a 1m23.716s, from a total of 21 laps.
Wickens, who turned 19 yesterday, strapped in behind the wheel for the afternoon's hour long practice session. Posting 23 laps, with a best time of 1m22.227s, Robert's turn of speed on used rubber bodes well for Sunday's later Feature race but the Durban Sprint race victor knows he'll need to extract the maximum from new tires in tomorrow afternoon's qualifying runs.
"I don't think we're that far off," reflected Wickens after practice. "Our pace on old tires was pretty respectable. We're just lacking a little bit of grip when the tires are still fresh. We've had this issue before and we've overcome it -- there are no points on offer on Friday's so there's no need to panic. We need to pick up a bit everywhere, there isn't one spot where I'm losing a lot of time so that's a sign to me that we have to work to get the balance better and I think we can get it for sure!"
Following just his second A1GP 'Rookie-Only' session Morad commented; "The track was really dirty but given it was just the second time I'd driven the car things in general seemed pretty good. There's obviously a little bit more work to do. I ended up sixth, things were definitely looking promising in the first half of the session but for the second half we had to bed in brake pads and lost our rhythm a little. I thought the circuit really suited me, some parts are pretty bumpy but I found a rhythm which was ideal as I don't like to muscle the car around, I'm more of a finesse driver!"
Qualifying starts tomorrow, Saturday 15th March, at 2:15pm in Mexico (4:15pm EST).
Sunday's 20-minute Sprint race starts at 11am (1pm EST) with the 70-minute Feature race starting at 3pm in Mexico City (5pm EST).