Wickens Second Fastest in China Practice A1 Team Canada faced some on-track adversity but still managed to remain at the sharp end of the timesheets with Toronto's Robert Wickens finishing second fastest in Friday practice ahead of Round 4 of...
Wickens Second Fastest in China Practice
A1 Team Canada faced some on-track adversity but still managed to remain at the sharp end of the timesheets with Toronto's Robert Wickens finishing second fastest in Friday practice ahead of Round 4 of the 2007-08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport at China's Zhuhai International Circuit on Sunday, 16th December.
Having reached the podium on his A1GP race debut last time out in Malaysia, 18-year-old Wickens continued to impress as he lapped the 4.30km Zhuhai track for the first time in Friday morning's 'Rookie-Only' session. Despite a driveshaft issue, he finished second quickest behind Germany's Michael Ammermuller, with a best lap of 1m24.205s. Lap times tumbled in the afternoon's hour-long practice session. A puncture robbed Wickens of valuable track time, limiting him to just 10 laps, but he repeated the morning's feat of finishing second fastest, this time behind Ireland's Adam Carroll.
"I think in general the results of day we were ok," Wickens reflected. "The only problem is we never really got to work on the car on old tires which is crucial for the race and in the official practice we had a puncture which put an early end to the day. It was frustrating because there was a half hour left in the session but we'll figure it out. It's a little frustrating as we're an hour behind and potentially a set of tires behind everybody else. Hopefully we can figure something out without wasting another set tomorrow. It's going to be tough but the team will be able to rebound!"
"We've hit the ground running," Team Manager Simon Cayzer commented. "The starting set-up was pretty good and the work the team put in preparing for here has been good but it was a day of mixed emotions really. We look quite good on the timing sheets but we've lost track time so we still have quite a bit of work we'd like to get through and a couple of problems with the car we'd like to iron out. We need to be a little bit creative with our plan for tomorrow so we don't hurt ourselves in qualifying and our overall strategy for the weekend. We're feeling relatively confident as we had the benefit of running Robert in both sessions, hopefully we're on target for a good result this weekend!"
Mark Gallagher, whose Status Grand Prix operation runs both A1 Team Canada and A1 Team Ireland, commented; "Robert did a great job under difficult circumstances, first with the driveshaft issue and then with the puncture during practice. It's very satisfying to see Canada right up there with its stable-mate Ireland, hopefully this bodes well for the rest of the weekend!"