FIRST TIME ON THE A1GP POWERED BY FERRARI CAR FOR DURAN AND GARCIA TAUPO, New Zealand, January 23nd, 2009 The Mexico A1GP team had this Friday its first experience with the A1GP Powered by Ferrari car in Taupo. The team not only tried the car...
FIRST TIME ON THE A1GP POWERED BY FERRARI CAR FOR DURAN AND GARCIA
TAUPO, New Zealand, January 23nd, 2009 The Mexico A1GP team had this Friday its first experience with the A1GP Powered by Ferrari car in Taupo. The team not only tried the car for the first time on this circuit, also its driver lineup is new, at least for this season. Today we were able to see again Chava Duran and Juan Pablo Garcia's helmets driving the snake eyed car around the track of the Taupo Motorsport Park.
Today rookie driver Juan Pablo Garcia was first on the track and finished 11th after his second practice session for rookie drivers. "I was the first of the Mexican drivers to be out on the track during the first practice session for rookies. On the first part of the session we did an in and an out lap to feel the car and ensure there wouldn't be any problems later on. Then I did eight laps to get to learn the track".
"This was my first time on this circuit and with this car; however, things went very well for me. For the second session I felt more confident and knew the track a little more. We reduced the aerodynamic load looking for a higher top speed and we had the possibility to make better times but there was a red flag and during that time we decided to change tires, again looking to increase our overall speed. I was doing well and getting better with each lap", said the Mexican driver, for whom this is only his second A1GP event, this time as a rookie.
"In the end I managed to finish 11th in the rookie classification (1'19.289). I think it was ok, I feel happy with what has been done. The car is different to the Lola we used before. This one is more stable and is faster in the corners. Definitely, the big difference for me, are the brakes, which are carbon fiber. This car responds faster under braking and that allows me to brake later than the Formula Renault 2.0 that I drove last year", finished the Telmex driver, who had never used carbon fiber brakes before.
Salvador Duran, who is the main driver for this weekend, had his chance in the next practice and clocked a best time of 1'17.78, good enough to finish the session 14th fastest.
"We have finished the first round of free practices. I felt very well. I quickly got used to the car, and the team makes me feel very confident. I think those are two important factors to success", stated the Mexican driver.
"At the beginning we were in the top five. Later on, as the session progressed, there were a lot of red flags and we were not able to improve our times. Our partial times improved but we weren't able to close the laps as we wanted to and finally we decided to stop early, 10 minutes before the end of the session because we were having trouble with the gearbox. It was necessary to change the settings and that's why we decided to stop and save our tires for tomorrow's qualifying session, which is our next main priority and what we are focusing on", he added.
Activities resume tomorrow with the qualifying sessions that will determine the starting grid for Sunday's Sprint and Feature races.