Shanghai, China, Saturday 12 April 2008: - A1 Team Great Britain will begin tomorrow's Sprint and Feature races in tenth and eighth positions respectively at the Shanghai International Circuit in China After a difficult qualifying session for the...
Shanghai, China, Saturday 12 April 2008: - A1 Team Great Britain will begin tomorrow's Sprint and Feature races in tenth and eighth positions respectively at the Shanghai International Circuit in China After a difficult qualifying session for the penultimate round of the 2007/08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport at the Shanghai International Circuit today, A1 Team Great Britain's Robbie Kerr will begin tomorrow's Sprint race from the fifth row in tenth place, and the Feature race from the fourth row in eighth place.
Today's action got underway this morning when Robbie took to the track for one final hour of free practice to work on the set-up of the car ahead of qualifying. He completed 23 laps of practice for the team, recording a fastest time of 1:36.040, which was 0.570 seconds behind session leaders Team France. Robbie set his quickest lap on the tenth of his 23 laps and used old tyres throughout the session. Teams Italy and France, who were ahead of GBR on the timesheet, used new tyres towards the end of the session to test their qualifying runs.
In all four qualifying sessions this afternoon, the first two to determine the Sprint race order and the second two for the Feature race, the track saw a frenetic last minute with the majority of the field out on their hot laps when the track was at its best. Qualifying proved to be an incredibly competitive and difficult session.
Robbie set a fastest lap of 1:35.015 on his first outing on new tyres, which put him in provisional sixth, but worked after the session on a suspected brake problem. After scoring pole position for the Sprint race a year ago, Robbie was hoping for a similar result today, but the session was so competitive that he slipped down the order and he will start in tenth after setting a time of 1:35.031 in the second segment, also on new tyres.
In qualifying for the Feature race the team could not find the same pace as the front runners and Robbie struggled to find grip in the corners, particularly in the middle sector. He set a time of 1:35.618 on old tyres in the first segment, putting Team GBR in provisional ninth place. In the final segment, on new rubber, he improved his time by three tenths, setting a lap of 1:35.357, moving up to eight position and a fourth row start.
Robbie Kerr: "Unfortunately we just didn't seem to get the reaction out of the car that we were expecting from the new tyres. However we were reasonably quick on older tyres in practice so we don't want to make too many changes ahead of the races. But we'll look into it overnight as we definitely need to find a bit more time to be competitive tomorrow."
Katie Clements, Team Principal: "Unfortunately, it's been a disappointing result for us today. Robbie put in a decent lap in first qualifying for the sprint race but was not able to build on it in second qualifying. In the feature race qualifying we simply were not as quick as the guys at the front and Robbie had some problems with the car. The team will work now on some of the problems we experienced and we will work towards a better race performance tomorrow."