Silverstone, England, 01 September 2006 -- New Zealand driver Chris van der Drift (20) had the chance last Wednesday and Thursday to test drive the 550hp New Zealand A1GP team entry, dubbed Black Beauty, quickly adapting to the new circuit, the...
Silverstone, England, 01 September 2006 -- New Zealand driver Chris van der Drift (20) had the chance last Wednesday and Thursday to test drive the 550hp New Zealand A1GP team entry, dubbed Black Beauty, quickly adapting to the new circuit, the new race-car and increased power.
The venue was Silverstone in Great Britain where twenty teams met in preparation for the lead-up to the second season of A1GP, the World Cup of Motorsport. Other drivers to test for team New Zealand were Jonny Reid and Wade Cunningham.
Van der Drift has been driving a Formula Renault 2.0 race-car this season in European Championships, with team JD Motorsport, with significant success. However the A1GP car promised so much more power and for that reason Van der Drift keenly waited for the new experience. This came on Wednesday afternoon when the kiwi driver completed 32 laps in 'Black Beauty'. The mornings 3 hour session of 42 laps was completed by first season test driver Jonny Reid. Reid completed the afternoon session with a further 23 laps setting a 4th best time of the session with new tyres.
The following day, in the late afternoon, Van der Drift was again able to step into the car for 25 laps, after seeing fellow countrymen Reid and Cunningham completing various sessions in the morning and early afternoon. Despite his lack of experience with cars of so much power, Van der Drift adapted quickly to the car and the circuit and was able to consistently improve on his lap times over the two days. Unfortunately a very quick lap time was not possible as he was not allocated a new set of tyres.
The four new sets of tyres under Black Beauty went to first season driver Reid. The New Zealander drove for the New Zealand team entry in two race weekends early in the inaugural season, in which New Zealand finished overall in fourth place. The GP2 race team Super Nova, undertaking the engineering of the car for the upcoming season, did a fine job in the two day test, with New Zealand fin ishing day 2 with a third fastest lap time.
Chris van der Drift : "At last I have been able to get behind the wheel of something that is bigger and more powerful. The difference between the A1GP car and my Formula Renault is huge. It was a great experience and it surprised me how fast I was. Unfortunately I did not get the chance with a new set of tyres to show how competitive I could have been and setting a top time. Despite driving on old tyres, I could see in the data that in many corners I was quicker than the others on newer tyres. It's a shame that I got no chance to set a fast time on new rubber, as the tyres slow quite quickly from new. During the sessions I was able to improve my times and I am enormously grateful to have received the opportunity. For that I want to thank the New Zealand team and Colin Giltrap. I also want to thank my engineer for the great work. I have given everything and now I just have to wait and see if the test leads to anything else".
-credit: www.chris vanderdrift.nl