Zandvoort: Team Malaysia qualifying report

A1 TEAM MALAYSIA TO START 4th FOR A1GP OPENING RACE A1 Team Malaysia enjoyed a strong start to the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport 2008/09 posting the fourth quickest lap to line up in this position for tomorrow's season opener in Zandvoort, ...

A1 TEAM MALAYSIA TO START 4th FOR A1GP OPENING RACE

A1 Team Malaysia enjoyed a strong start to the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport 2008/09 posting the fourth quickest lap to line up in this position for tomorrow's season opener in Zandvoort, the Netherlands.

Fauzy began his A1GP campaign this morning taking to the Zandvoort circuit for the first time for the extended practice session of the new season of the Series. In the first part of the session the track was dry and the Malaysian team posted the fourth quickest lap although only 12 cars were on track, with five others still undergoing last minute preparations. A heavy shower burst shortly after the session began sent the teams back into the garage for wet tyres and a change of setup to meet these different weather conditions.

Unfortunately the team had a fuel pump failure which curtailed Fauzy's running to four laps in the early part of the session and in the second part of the session, in the wet, the team were struggling with grip. The engineering team made some changes to make the car softer and Fauzy was then able to improve the team's overall performance.

In the second practice session the team recommenced their planned programme of preparation for the two races, using the valuable track time to gain experience with the new car at this demanding, technical circuit. After the one hour of running time available, Fauzy and the Malaysian team were fifth quickest, having completed 19 laps over the course of the session.

Afternoon qualifying at the Zandvoort circuit was altered for this weekend, as a number of the cars had been unable to participate in morning practice. The one-hour session allowed all teams as much track time as they wanted, with no restriction on the number of laps each car could complete. The times were used to determine the grid for the Sprint race and the Sprint race results will determine the Feature race grid.

The Malaysian team opted to use three sets of new tyres over the course of the qualifying session. The hour long session gave the engineering team further opportunity to work with Fauzy to refine the set up in a quest to post a quick time. With the team pushing hard and Fauzy putting in a sterling effort, A1 Team Malaysia posted fourth quickest lap of the 14 cars that took part in this session.

Fauzy summed up his session saying, "It was a good start to the season for me as it was my best qualifying performance of my A1GP career. We were allowed to use the PowerBoost button in this qualifying, so I used it three times on my first run and that gave me the extra horsepower I needed to put in a good lap time. Having done that I only had one PowerBoost opportunity left, so I wasn't able to get a lap as quick as that one. For tomorrow, I'm hoping we can get a really good finish and then have a good start for the Feature race, but the weather is meant to be bad, so then anything can happen."

Jack Cunningham, Chief Executive, A1 Team Malaysia concluded of the day, "With a new car, some late nights preparing it in the last few days, and a particularly late finish last night, a new chief engineer and a couple of slight mistakes made by the team during the session it's a satisfactory outcome for us. We are also aware that we're not battling a full grid yet, so we have to keep our expectations realistic this weekend. We'll see what tomorrow brings, especially if the weather turns bad, as is expected."

The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, Zandvoort, Netherlands kicks off tomorrow at 11.00am local time for the Sprint Race and 15.00 for the Feature Race. Watch live on A1GP.com with live timing and live video from 12.30pm local time.

-credit: malaysia

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Series A1GP
Drivers Jack Cunningham