Buddy Rice resumes testing for A1 TEAM USA SILVERSTONE, England--Buddy Rice will resume testing for A1 TEAM USA in A1GP's final preparations for the 2007-08 season Tuesday (Sept. 18) at Silverstone's International Circuit. Rice drove the "We...
Buddy Rice resumes testing for A1 TEAM USA
SILVERSTONE, England--Buddy Rice will resume testing for A1 TEAM USA in A1GP's final preparations for the 2007-08 season Tuesday (Sept. 18) at Silverstone's International Circuit.
Rice drove the "We The People" car in A1GP's previous open test on Aug. 28-29 at Silverstone. The 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner completed 134 laps in his first time in the Lola-Zytek. He was 10th in the opening-day afternoon session.
"We had a good first test, one that I think we can build upon," Rice said. "The purpose of the test this week is for us to keep working on improving the communication between myself and the team, and to continue to acclimate myself to the A1 TEAM USA car. We will continue to learn exactly what I need out of the car and the engineers to make us faster.
"I think that the extra day in the car will be very valuable. No matter how experienced of a driver you are, there is a learning curve any time that you come to a circuit for the first time."
The 31-year-old driver from Phoenix, Ariz., has raced every weekend since the A1GP test, but has continued to consider how to improve the A1 TEAM USA car.
"I have had the chance to return to the USA for a few weeks and although I will have driven in three races (two in the IndyCar Series and one in Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series) in between A1GP tests, I have still been thinking about the first test during the past few weeks," Rice said. "I really like the way the A1GP car drives. You can really throw the car around, it likes to be driven hard."
Rice will run a full day Tuesday, then turn the car over to Charlie Kimball for the half day on Wednesday. Kimball, of Camarillo, Calif., is a candidate to become A1 TEAM USA's rookie driver. A1GP regulations allow for drivers who have competed in less than of its three races and are under the age of 28 to participate in two 25-minute practices that begin the race weekends on Friday mornings.
The 22-year-old Kimball has raced regularly in Europe since 2004. He won the Formula 3 Euroseries race in 2005 at Zandvoort, The Netherlands--site of the A1GP season opener on Sept. 28-30. Kimball had five victories in British Formula 3 in 2005, two wins in United Kingdom Formula Ford in 2004 and four wins in US Formula Ford 2000 Zetec in 2003.
Kimball is driving in the World Series by Renault Series this year.
"I am really looking forward to getting into the A1 TEAM USA car," Kimball said. "It will be the first time I have driven a V-8 powered car with that much horsepower (550) and am sure it is going to be a lot of fun. The car is reasonably similar to my World Series by Renault car this year, but it has a bit more power and less downforce, which should really make it exciting."
Owner Rick Weidinger likes the energy and commitment he's seen by A1 TEAM USA as it prepares for A1GP's third season.
"Our effort is coming together very well," Weidinger said. "I'm pleased to have Buddy in the 'We The People' car for a second test and to welcome Charlie Kimball to our A1 TEAM USA family. We've fine-tuned the team from last season and we're working hard and enthusiastically toward a successful season."
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