Canada's McIntosh maximizes Malaysian track time Friday 24 November, 2006 -- A1 Team Canada's Sean McIntosh kicked off preparations for Sunday's fourth round of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, hosted at the Sepang International Circuit...
Canada's McIntosh maximizes Malaysian track time
Friday 24 November, 2006 -- A1 Team Canada's Sean McIntosh kicked off preparations for Sunday's fourth round of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, hosted at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, by posting the 13th fastest lap time in Friday's official practice session as he returned to A1GP competition for the first time since scoring Canada's maiden victory last February in Indonesia.
With the 21-year-old Vancouver-native rotating back into the Canadian team's race seat following three impressive outings to launch the sophomore season of A1GP by Toronto rookie James Hinchcliffe (19), Sean's race weekend started positively as he familiarized himself once again with the 550bhp, V8-powered A1GP car and the 5.44km Sepang track.
The heat and humidity that greeted the field of nations for the rookie-only session in the morning and the afternoon's official practice failed to faze McIntosh, the Canadian having first experienced the challenging conditions presented by Malaysia in the corresponding round of the inaugural A1GP Championship last November. While 17 nations opted to run rookie drivers in the morning session, A1 Team Canada's first track running came in the afternoon when McIntosh was finally unleashed along with the full contingent of 22 competitors.
Logging the second-highest number of laps for the session in a bid to maximize track time, Sean's stint saw him end the hour-long outing with a lap time of 1m54.923s, placing him 13th overall, one spot behind the points-leading entry of A1 Team Mexico, piloted by Salvador Duran, and a place ahead of A1 Team Australia with Indy Racing League and Champ Car racer Ryan Briscoe behind the wheel.
19-year-old Nico Hulkenberg, winner of last month's Round 1Feature race in Holland, launched A1 Team Germany to the top of Friday's time-sheets in both sessions.
"It's great to be back in the car representing Canada!" stated McIntosh following his first day back in Malaysia. "We were quick here in Sepang last year and I think the potential is there to have another good weekend. Obviously the drivers and teams that participated in the rookie session this morning have a bit of an advantage over our team with the extra track time but we'll hopefully be up there tomorrow in qualifying when it counts. As always the weather's really hot and humid so it's a good job I've been training hard as Sunday's going to be a physically demanding day of racing!"