Shanghai -- The closing round of A1 Grand Prix's inaugural season got underway today with 22 A1 race cars taking to the impressive Shanghai International Circuit for two Official Practice sessions. Fastest of the day was A1 Team France's ...
Shanghai -- The closing round of A1 Grand Prix's inaugural season got underway today with 22 A1 race cars taking to the impressive Shanghai International Circuit for two Official Practice sessions.
Fastest of the day was A1 Team France's Nicolas Lapierre who will split the weekend's driving with team mate Alex Premat. Commenting on the track and the team's performance, Lapierre said: 'It's a very difficult track for the driver and for the car so we had to work a lot today but at the end of the day we had a good time. We put in a good distance and we have to wait and see tomorrow what Alex can do. The track was not easy at the beginning as there are a lot of corners and it's a very technical track but now I really like it because I think we will see a good race on Sunday.'
A1 Team Great Britain, who will be defending their current third place position in the championship standings, has opted for new driver Darren Manning this weekend. Speaking of his first time in an A1 race car, Manning said: 'Obviously the day's gone very well, it's my first time in the car and first time on the track. It helped me being on a totally brand new circuit so the other drivers were learning the circuit as I was also learning how to drive the car. It's nice to be in the press conference after my first time out so I hope I can keep it up for the rest of the weekend.'
Commenting on the Shanghai circuit, Manning continued: 'It's my first experience of this amazing circuit. It's got everything you could want as a driver -- it's got some slow technical corners and some very high speed corners. It's going to be very good for the racing and it's going to be very physical. Because the track doesn't get used very much, conditions just keep getting better and better, it's going to be interesting stuff.'
Winner of the last race at Laguna Seca, A1 Team Mexico's Salvador Duran recorded the fastest lap in the first session but initially struggled in the second: 'It was a difficult day', he said. 'In the morning we were very fast in the beginning. In the afternoon we made a big change to the car which was difficult but we worked on the set up and luckily had enough time to put in a decent time at the end of the session. I'm very happy now as we now have a competitive car for tomorrow.'