Taupo: Team New Zealand preview

BLACK BEAUTY SET TO ROAR IN TAUPO Black Beauty, and nineteen other 'Powered by Ferrari' A1GP cars roar into life this Friday for New Zealand's home round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. Leading the charge for A1 Team New Zealand is ...

BLACK BEAUTY SET TO ROAR IN TAUPO

Black Beauty, and nineteen other 'Powered by Ferrari' A1GP cars roar into life this Friday for New Zealand's home round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport.

Leading the charge for A1 Team New Zealand is Waikato born 22-year-old Chris van der Drift, who takes on the role of Race Driver for the team for the second time in his career. While he's no stranger to the Taupo area, van der Drift will race around Taupo for the first time in his career, which to date has largely been based in Europe.

To give himself something of a sneak preview of the circuit, van der Drift got behind the wheel of an Aston Martin V8 Vantage last week, completing a handful of laps to give him something to think about before he hops aboard Black Beauty. This experience should prove extremely valuable, as there are only two hours allotted to A1GP for practice, starting on Friday afternoon.

The first time cars hit the 3.5km circuit is Friday morning, when two Rookie Sessions are run, each of thirty minutes duration. Luckily for van der Drift, he is still classed as a rookie for Taupo, meaning he is one of the drivers to receive an extra sixty minutes of practice over his competitors, in addition to the main practice sessions.

Work is currently underway in the team's garage at the Taupo Motorsport Park, with Black Beauty undergoing the regular pre-race preparations. A1GP rules allow teams limited and equal access to their cars prior to a race event, to keep running costs for the championship under control.

Wednesday 2pm was the first chance the crew were allowed to touch the car prior to the Taupo round of the fourth season of A1GP racing. Preparations will continue throughout Thursday as the mechanical components of the car are checked or replaced to ensure Black Beauty is in top shape come race time.

Home race attention has seen van der Drift a busy man in the build-up to racing at Taupo. In the past ten days he's jumped off Auckland's Skytower, joined the team's crew for a Skycity Poker evening, and hit off for the hole in one golf challenge in Taupo.

If his result is anything to go by in the golf challenge, things look promising for the young Kiwi, as he beat championship leader, Ireland's Adam Carroll, in a 'big drive' golf challenge with a speed of 229kmh over Carroll's 205kmh.

Those heart-stopping words "For the pride of your nation, start your engines" are just a few days away, so all Kiwis, whether interested in Motorsport or not are urged to get along to Taupo this Sunday and cheer for their nation.

Tickets are still available from www.A1GPTaupo.com, Ticketek or at the gate.

Chris van der Drift, Driver

"The build up to the race weekend is exciting -- seeing the teams setting up shows how close we are to getting into the action on track."

"The team has made some good progress with the new Black Beauty, so I think we'll be much stronger this weekend than at Chengdu."

-credit: new zealand

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Adam Carroll , Chris van der Drift