Trouble free was the best way to describe the second day of testing at Donington Park with the new A1GP World Cup of Motorsport Powered by Ferrari cars. Heavy rain interrupted day one on Tuesday, but today was much drier with the cars covering a total of 466 laps of the 2.5-mile circuit between them and also beating the circuit’s 15-year-old track record.
The honour of going faster than the lap record went to A1 Team Malaysia’s Fairuz Fauzy who continued where he left off on Tuesday on top of today’s timesheets. The 25-year-old, who has competed in ten races for his nation with fifth in South Africa this year being his best result, was the driver who beat the time set by Ayrton Senna in the 1993 Grand Prix of Europe. “It was great today, the team did a good job to get the car together with no problems. Today we did a lot of laps and the more we do, the more data we are collecting. To finish fastest today and beat the lap record is a real achievement but we still need to work hard and I am looking forward to Zandvoort,” Fauzy said.
A1 Team Netherlands was in action with Jeroen Bleekemolen in the Dutch car. “The level of downforce and brakes are a lot better than before. The power doesn’t seem much greater but I think that is due to the fact we have a lot more downforce now. I don’t think the top speed will be a lot higher but lap times will be a lot faster because of both the downforce and brakes,” he commented.
John Martin also put in a good performance for A1 Team Australia, with the team announcing him as its main driver for the 2008/09 season. Martin impressed the squad last year during his 12 A1GP races, with his best finish being a popular fifth place on home soil at Eastern Creek. His comment was: “It feels really good to be back and I’m glad I impressed them enough last year. I like the new car so it should be a really good season.”
Adrian Zaugg continued the testing programme for A1 Team South Africa whileEdoardo Piscopo and Euro F3000 championship leader Fabio Onidi both had time in the A1 Team Italy car. Chris van der Drift, who competed in and was quickest in the rookie session at the Season Three finale at Brands Hatch, took to the track for A1 Team New Zealand.
A1 Team Pakistan has also confirmed Adam Khan will not only race for the team in Season Four, but will also be its new seat holder. “I am looking forward to building the awareness for the team in Pakistan through my role as seat holder, while also racing for the nation at the A1GP events around the globe. Combining the two responsibilities will certainly keep me busy, but I also believe that having total focus on the team will help to bring us more success both commercially and on the track, “said Khan.
Official Test Session Day Two (combined times)
A1 Team - Driver - Time - No. Laps1 Malaysia Fairuz Fauzy 1:17.474 892 Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen 1:17.886 623 Australia John Martin 1:17.896 874 New Zealand Chris van der Drift 1:18.364 755 South Africa Adrian Zaugg 1:18.694 726 A1GP Test Car Thomas Biagi 1:20.889 267 Italy Edoardo Piscopo/ Fabio Onidi 1:21.872 55