Canada Seeking Points Score at Sepang Scoreless after the opening two rounds of the 2007-08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, A1 Team Canada heads to Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit this weekend, Friday 23rd -- Sunday 25th November, hoping...
Canada Seeking Points Score at Sepang
Scoreless after the opening two rounds of the 2007-08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, A1 Team Canada heads to Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit this weekend, Friday 23rd -- Sunday 25th November, hoping rookie racer Robert Wickens can kick-start this season's scorecard in Round 3 of the nation versus nation series.
Wickens was confirmed in his race role last week after an impressive start to his A1GP career at the previous round in the Czech Republic. Debuting in the 'Rookie-Only' session on Friday morning, the 18-year-old Toronto-native fired Canada to the top of the timesheets in the second half of practice, a feat all the more stunning given it marked just his second time behind the wheel of the 550bhp A1GP car and his first time ever on the Brno Auto Motodrom track.
Malaysia's 5.54km Sepang International Circuit will be equally new to the 2006 Formula BMW USA Champion but with the benefit of competing in the 'Rookie-Only' session on Friday morning, Wickens will enjoy maximum track time throughout Friday and Saturday heading into Sunday's Sprint and Feature races.
"I'm hoping all the video games I've played where I've raced at Sepang and done well are pretty realistic," said Wickens ahead of his Malaysian debut. "I'm certainly familiar with the layout of the circuit but there's no substitute for getting out there and seeing it for yourself. The area's famous for monsoons so weather could be another factor to contend with but I'm confident of a strong showing."
A1 Team Canada has a mixed record at the Hermann Tilke designed track, which first hosted the Malaysian Grand Prix in 1999. Prior to this weekend's A1GP event, Vancouver's Sean McIntosh was the only driver to race for A1 Team Canada at Sepang. A 15th place finish and a DNF in the inaugural 2005-06 A1GP season proved instantly forgettable for the team but a solid top-ten qualifying effort last November was backed up with an eighth place Sprint finish and a fifth place Feature result for McIntosh, the 21-year-old scoring points on his return to A1GP competition having previously led Canada to victory in Indonesia in February 2006.
While Wickens gets set for his competitive debut in Malaysia he will be accompanied by team-mate and veteran of 18 A1GP starts, James Hinchcliffe. The 20-year-old Champ Car Atlantic race winner, runner-up in the voting for last week's Greg Moore Legacy Award, came frustratingly close to opening Canada's points account through the first two rounds this year in Zandvoort and Brno, his best finish to-date an 11th place finish in Round 2's Feature event last month.
Sunday's 20-minute Sprint race starts at 11am local time (10pm EST Saturday 24th November) with the 70-minute Feature race starting at 3pm in Malaysia (2am EST Sunday 25th November).
Setanta Sports Canada will broadcast all the action from Round 3 as a tape-delay on Monday 26th November starting at 8am EST
SPEED will air Round 3 on Thursday 6th December at Noon EST