Buddy Rice finished 13th for A1 TEAM USA in the Feature race of Sunday's AquaSP A1GP Zandvoort. It was Rice's race-weekend debut in A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. He had to deal with track conditions that went from wet on Saturday to dry on...
Buddy Rice finished 13th for A1 TEAM USA in the Feature race of Sunday's AquaSP A1GP Zandvoort.
It was Rice's race-weekend debut in A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. He had to deal with track conditions that went from wet on Saturday to dry on Sunday, a track he'd never raced upon and a veteran group of A1GP drivers.
"It was definitely a learning experience," Rice said. "We put ourselves in a hole yesterday (Saturday) having to start that far back. If it had been dry in qualifying, it would have been different."
Rice started 19th in the Sprint and the Feature. In the 12-lap Sprint on the 2.6-mile circuit, Rice was learning the track in dry conditions and finished 22nd.
"The seat time was beneficial and we made some small adjustments between the Sprint and the Feature," Rice said.
The 31-year-old from Phoenix, Ariz., drove from 19th to 13th in the "We The People" car prior to A1 TEAM USA's first pit stop on lap 14, but lost two positions during it.
"If we had a normal pit stop, we'd have picked up a couple of spots and we would have finished in the top 10," Rice said. "We lost contact with the leader pack. The cars in front of us were slightly slower, but Zandvoort is a difficult place to pass."
Rice made his second pit stop on lap 32 and drove his fastest laps of the race to the checkered flag in the 45-lap Feature..
"With that last set of tires, Buddy turned into a rocket ship," A1 TEAM USA owner Rick Weidinger said. "He ran some of the fastest laps of the race. We showed that we can be competitive, which is what we expect.
"It was a tough weekend with all the variables Buddy and the team faced. The Sprint race was the first time Buddy was on a dry track at Zandvoort. Everything considered, I'm pleased with how we dealt with the adversity. We can take what we learned and go to Brno."
Rice will take 57 laps of racing experience to A1GP's second round at Brno, Czech Republic, on Oct. 12-14.
"We had to go from back to front and were driving against all those guys with experience in A1GP that teams brought back to Zandvoort," Rice said.
Six drivers--Adrian Zaugg, Jeroen Bleekemolen, Confu Cheng, James Hinchcliffe, Salvador Duran and Alex Yoong--drove in the A1GP event at Zandvoort last weekend. Zaugg won the Sprint and was second in the Feature behind Great Britain's Oliver Jarvis, another driver with A1GP experience.
"It was our first race together and mistakes come with that," Rice said. "Had we not made mistakes, we'd have been in the top 10 in the Feature. We made those mistakes as a group, including me."