Perfect Bathurst preparation for Briscoe with podium in A1 Grand Prix opener The Holden Racing Team's Ryan Briscoe has started preparations for his Bathurst debut in perfect fashion with a thirdplace podium result in the opening round of the A1...
Perfect Bathurst preparation for Briscoe with podium in A1 Grand Prix opener
The Holden Racing Team's Ryan Briscoe has started preparations for his Bathurst debut in perfect fashion with a thirdplace podium result in the opening round of the A1 Grand Prix of Nations at Zandvoort in Holland overnight.
The 25yearold, driving for A1 Team Australia, is the fulltime driver for the team in the 2006/2007 championship, and finished third in the feature race after starting in a lowly 14th on the grid.
In a difficult race where a midrace shower forced many drivers to head to the pits to change to wet weather tyres, Briscoe worked his way through the pack until, like many of his rivals, he was forced to return to the pits to change back to slick tyres.
In the closing stages, Briscoe's slickshod Australian car was too fast for the third placed local Dutch hero Jeroen Bleekemolen on his wet weather tyres, with the Aussie stealing the final podium position on the last lap.
"I never thought we'd be on the podium after starting back in 14th," said Briscoe post race.
"It's a fantastic result for us today. We've been struggling all weekend with the setup of the car and we tried some things for the race.
"That meant the car was very different in its setup and it actually was running decent, but it was very difficult to pass anyone.
"In the feature race we got caught out at the wrong time with a Safety Car period in the early stages, but when I saw the heavens open I thought it was our real chance to get back into it.
"The crew was ready for whatever we needed to do and gave me the options of what decisions we could make.
"They were telling me that Holland was third and I was eight seconds quicker at the end. I was looking at the crowd and it was all orange!
"I thought, `is this the right thing to do'! But sorry to the Holland fans, I had to do it!"
Briscoe, who will miss the second round of the series in the Czech Republic next weekend due to a clash with his Bathurst 1000 debut, finished 13th in the shorter sprint race run over 12 laps earlier in the day.
He will now turn his attentions to his Bathurst debut this weekend with the Holden Racing Team, sharing the team's #22 Commodore with veteran Jim Richards.
The Sydneysider shocked the V8 Supercar industry by taking provisional pole in the recent Sandown 500 in Melbourne and heads to Mount Panorama as one of the bestcredentialed rookie drivers in recent history.
He will return to Australia on Wednesday and head directly to Bathurst after landing in Sydney.