Sepang: Team Canada Saturday notes

Wickens Earns Top-Five Sprint Start Robert Wickens marked his first competitive weekend in the 2007-08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport by capturing A1 Team Canada's highest grid placing of the season courtesy of a fifth place start for Sunday's ...

Wickens Earns Top-Five Sprint Start

Robert Wickens marked his first competitive weekend in the 2007-08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport by capturing A1 Team Canada's highest grid placing of the season courtesy of a fifth place start for Sunday's Sprint race at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. The 18-year-old Toronto rookie followed his sterling performance in Sprint qualifying with 12th on the grid for the later Feature race putting Canada firmly in contention for two strong points scoring finishes on Sunday.

Sampling A1GP's unique qualifying format for the first time at the 5.54km Sepang track, Wickens used two brand new sets of tires for his first two runs, the fastest lap used to set the grid for the Sprint race. Despite being blocked on his first tour, a 1m49.252s lap on his second attempt was quick enough to land Canada its highest start position of the season with fifth overall. Feature qualifying was marred by a slight off at Turn 14 on the final run on fresh tires but Wickens posted the 12th quickest time, with a 1m49.642s, for a sixth row grid slot from the field of 22 nations.

"Qualifying for the Sprint race went well," said Wickens afterwards. "That said, the South African car almost stopped in front of me on my first run and that held me up. I am frustrated not to have qualified better for the Feature race, I had a little off and that ruined my final lap which was disappointing. I think we made good progress yesterday and again today so now we just have to concentrate on getting the finish in the points for the Sprint race and making up ground in the Feature. I think we're in quite good shape!"

While Wickens was performing on-track, his A1 Team Canada team-mate, James Hinchcliffe was being kept busy off it! Already an accomplished broadcaster covering the Champ Car World Series for Eurosport, the 20-year-old Canadian is in Malaysia working for Sky Sports as a pit-lane reporter, his in-sight as a veteran of 18 A1GP starts proving to be invaluable when grilling his fellow drivers.

Sunday's 20-minute Sprint race starts at 11am local time (10pm EST Saturday) with the 70-minute Feature race starting at 3pm in Malaysia (2am EST Sunday).

Setanta Sports will broadcast Round 3 on 26th November at 8am EST

SPEED will air Round 3 on 6th December at Noon EST

-credit: a1teamcan.com

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Series A1GP
Drivers Robert Wickens , James Hinchcliffe