Canada Headlines Taupo Rookie Session A1 Team Canada's Robert Wickens continued to make a name for himself in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport as the Toronto teen dominated Round 5's 'Rookie-Only' practice session on Friday morning at ...
Canada Headlines Taupo Rookie Session
A1 Team Canada's Robert Wickens continued to make a name for himself in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport as the Toronto teen dominated Round 5's 'Rookie-Only' practice session on Friday morning at New Zealand's Taupo Motorsports Park.
Wickens, turning his first career laps at the stunning 3.5km facility, blitzed the field of rookie drivers setting a lap of 1m17.070s, almost two tenths clear of second-placed John Martin debuting for A1 Team Australia. Canada maintained its front-running pace in the afternoon's hour-long official practice, Robert setting the seventh fastest lap time from the 22 competing nations.
With 21 laps under his belt from the morning's rookie session Wickens headed into the afternoon's practice armed with track knowledge and some set-up adjustments to try out ahead of tomorrow afternoon's qualifying runs. Logging 18 more tours, his fastest lap, a 1m16.065s, was just half a second off of A1 Team France's timesheet topping 1m15.545s, set courtesy of veteran Loic Duval.
"We definitely improved the car today," said Wickens after Friday's Taupo sessions. "We made a few changes from the rookie session that didn't quite work so when we started this afternoon on the new tires the car wasn't up to go P1again. As the session went on we really progressed and I set our best lap towards the end of the day which I'm really pleased about considering the tires were worn."
Robbie continued, "The team did a great job, we're going to work on the car and hopefully get some good qualifying spots for Sunday's Sprint and Feature races. You don't get a break at this track, it's extremely physical but the grip levels are phenomenal. I'd heard that there wasn't too much grip here last year but whatever they've done, there's a ton of it now! It's going to be a physical race so whoever's been to the gym will make it to the end!"
Team Manager Simon Cayzer reflected on a solid opening day down-under. "We're at the right end of the grid," he commented. "We tried a few things, some worked and some didn't but we know the direction we have to take. We're reasonably happy with our qualifying set-up and there's a bit more work to do on the race set-up. In Zhuhai we were P2 but we didn't deliver in qualifying, there are no points for the rookie session and last time we ended the weekend with no points. I'll be happy with a decent score come Sunday evening."
Qualifying for Sunday's 20-minute Sprint race and 70-minute Feature race starts tomorrow, Saturday 19th January, at 2:15pm in New Zealand (8:15pm EST Friday 18th).