MALAYSIA KEEPING ITS COOL IN THE WARMTH OF TAUPO A1 Team Malaysia was out on track for the first day of practice at the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, New Zealand, today. Clear blue skies and bright sunshine greeted the grid of nations competing...
MALAYSIA KEEPING ITS COOL IN THE WARMTH OF TAUPO
A1 Team Malaysia was out on track for the first day of practice at the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, New Zealand, today. Clear blue skies and bright sunshine greeted the grid of nations competing this weekend in Taupo. Aaron Lim was the first of the two Malaysian drivers to sample the track in the new A1GP car, putting in top ten lap times in the morning sessions and finishing sixth quickest of the rookies. Fairuz Fauzy completed the first afternoon practice session with 15th quickest lap.
The Taupo circuit is a challenging 3.5km of long corners, sweeping curves and undulations. It is a test of driver skill and fitness, running in an anticlockwise direction, unlike most circuits. Lim coped well with the high temperatures and demands of the scenic venue, but struggled with braking. Fauzy took over the wheel in the afternoon, but the brake issues persisted and left him struggling to put in the lap times that the team expected to achieve.
Lim said of his time behind the wheel, "It was good to get back in the car after a long break and to get in the rhythm again. The circuit is quite demanding. It's tight and twisty, and because it is fairly narrow, there's only a small margin of error. Each time I'm out on track I'm able to gain experience and work with my engineers to understand what is needed to improve my performance. I'm taking it step by step and focusing on doing the best job I can for the team."
Fauzy enjoyed his return to the cockpit after over six week's break from racing, saying, "I had problems with the brakes today and that affected just how much we could get done today. We focused on getting the right balance on the car, but it was a bit frustrating as we couldn't do as much as we wanted because of the issue with the brakes. I think if we can resolve the problem, we can move up the grid."
Jack Cunningham, Chief Executive of the team, added, "It seems that we have carried over an issue with the brakes from Sepang and it's one that will need to be addressed this evening. The engineers are also reviewing the setup as Fairuz is struggling with the handling of the car. We're confident we can sort the problems out and will be able to make up ground for qualifying tomorrow."
Ahead of today's track action, the Malaysian drivers took part in publicity activities for the event, with Maori warriors greeting the drivers before they were given a lesson in how to perform the traditional Haka welcome dance. They also visited the Huka Falls, not on foot to admire the view, but powered up the river on a Jetboat, which gave the Malaysia drivers a thrilling ride of a different kind than the more familiar A1GP car.
The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, New Zealand, continues tomorrow, Saturday 24 January, with further practice and final qualifying. The Sprint and Feature races take place on Sunday 25 January, with an expected sell-out crowd of spectators to cheer on the teams in Taupo.