Shanghai: Team Germany Friday report

A1 Team Germany tops Rookie Session A1 Team Germany, A1 GP World Cup of Motorsport championship leader, made a perfect start to the tenth and penultimate round of the 2006/2007 season in Shanghai: Christian Vietoris from Gonnersdorf in the Eifel...

A1 Team Germany tops Rookie Session

A1 Team Germany, A1 GP World Cup of Motorsport championship leader, made a perfect start to the tenth and penultimate round of the 2006/2007 season in Shanghai: Christian Vietoris from Gonnersdorf in the Eifel recorded the fastest time in the "Rookie Session".

Driving the 520 hp A1 GP car in the opening test session, the 18-year old "star of tomorrow" posted the fastest time of 1m37.264s around the Chinese Grand Prix circuit, giving him a 0.101s advantage over Formula 1 test driver Narain Karthikeyan from India. Vietoris beat the Frenchman Jean-Karl Vernay by 0.459s with his best lap of 1m36.236s in the second session for A1 GP Series newcomers.

"That was a good start," explained Vietoris after completing 19 laps. "The circuit was new to me, but I really liked it. The facility is absolutely state-of-the-art, the track is very wide and it was so much fun that Shanghai immediately became one of my favourite circuits. We worked mainly with the wing setting, since the aerodynamic configuration is decisive on the long straights. The car was good straight out of the box, even better than last time in Mexico. It would be fantastic if I could also race here, but A1 GP is a sport for nations and the driver in each session is determined beforehand. I hope that I was able to help the team with my work."

In the subsequent practice session Nico Hulkenberg took over driving duties. The 19-year old Rheinlander from Emmerich, who is nominated to drive qualifying and also the two races, initially topped the timing screens. However, when he cut the kerb at a chicane the rear-left upper wishbone broke. His time of 1m36.001s left him in sixth position 0.428s behind the fastest nation. "I had to re-familiarise myself with the A1 GP car after completing eight days of Formula 3 testing," reported Hulkenberg. "Things were running well before the wishbone broke. Maybe I was a little too aggressive at this point, but normally kerbs are no problem for the robust suspension. There wasn't much time after the repair. Even though we only used one set of tyres every car improved its lap time. Normally they get slower. So I assume that the grip level of the dirty, unused track was low to start but improved from lap to lap. I'm interested to see how Saturday's qualifying goes."

-credit: team germany

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Series A1GP
Drivers Narain Karthikeyan , Christian Vietoris , Nico Hulkenberg , Jean-Karl Vernay