Top-Ten Practice Start Bodes Well for Wickens A shortage of practice laps in Malaysia this morning failed to prevent A1 Team Canada rookie Robert Wickens from cracking the top-ten in this afternoon's official practice session at the Sepang ...
Top-Ten Practice Start Bodes Well for Wickens
A shortage of practice laps in Malaysia this morning failed to prevent A1 Team Canada rookie Robert Wickens from cracking the top-ten in this afternoon's official practice session at the Sepang International Circuit prior to Round 3 of the 2007-08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport on Sunday, 25th November.
Wickens, who becomes only the fourth driver to race for A1 Team Canada in the nation versus nation series this weekend, had his practice time cut short in the morning's 'Rookie-Only' session at the 5.54km circuit thanks to a problematic steering rack. Limited to ten laps, the 18-year-old from Toronto posted the 12th fastest time of the session with a 1m54.695s lap from 20 nations fielding rookies.
This afternoon's hour-long session, with all 22 competing nations participating, proved to be more productive for Canada with Wickens, the 2006 Formula BMW USA Champion, comfortably running inside the top-ten throughout. His best lap time, a 1m50.909s, ended the session eighth quickest with the team looking to maintain that form into Saturday's qualifying sessions, Canada having yet to start a race this season higher than tenth on the grid.
"Today's been pretty good," reflected Wickens after his first outing on the Sepang track. "We had a problem with the steering rack in the rookie session which basically meant I couldn't turn the car so we lost a lot of track time. The team rebounded really well though and I'm extremely satisfied to have been running in the top-ten the whole of this afternoon's session.
He continued, "We made improvements to the car in the limited time we had and despite going out on fresh tires at the start of the session I did my fastest lap on the second to last lap of the session which shows the improvements we've made. I'm really looking forward to Saturday's practice and qualifying."
A1 Team Canada Team Manager, Simon Cayzer, commented; "We had some problems this morning which cost us some time but the second practice session went well. We have some more fine tuning to do but overall we're relatively happy with our set-up start. Robert did a good job today despite being quite new to the car and having never driven the circuit before, he seems quite a cool, calm customer!"
Qualifying for Sunday's 20-minute Sprint race and 70-minute Feature race starts tomorrow, Saturday 24th November, at 2:15pm in Malaysia (1:15am EST).