on top five finish at Sepang International Circuit
A1 Team Monaco has set its sights on a top five finish this weekend at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, which plays host to round three of the 2008/9 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport (22-23 November 2008).
The internationally-acclaimed Sepang International Circuit (SIC), located in Selangor, 60 kilometres (37 miles) south of the capital Kuala Lumpur, was officially opened in 1999, the year in which it hosted the first Formula 1 Grand Prix event in Southeast Asia. Built in a natural stadium, all spectators can see at least 50 per cent of the circuit regardless of where they sit, making the A1GP race in Malaysia one of the best races to witness the new breed of A1GP Powered by Ferrari cars first hand.
Hailed as a benchmark in track design, the Sepang circuit boasts superb pit garage and media facilities, as well as impressive grandstands and patron amenities. The circuit was the first in a succession of state-of-the-art motor racing complexes designed and realised by German engineer Hermann Tilke, whose name is now synonymous with new international circuit conception and existing circuit overhaul and re-design.
The main circuit at Sepang, on which A1GP competes, is raced in a clockwise direction. It is 5.54 kilometres (3.44 miles) long and is noted for its sweeping corners (15 corners in total) and wide straights. The minimum track width is 16 metres making for plenty of overtaking opportunities. The layout is quite unusual, with a very long back straight separated from the pit straight by just one very tight hairpin. Other configurations of the Sepang circuit can also be used, namely the shorter north and south circuits, and the facility also includes a kart racing track and motocross circuit.
The A1GP lap record at Sepang is 1m 49.221s, set by A1 Team Switzerland’s Neel Jani in November 2007.
Clivio Piccione, Driver and Seat-Holder, A1 Team Monaco: “I am really looking forward to this race, especially as the track is one of the first on the calendar to show the real potential of the car we are driving. There are a lot of high-speed corners and it will be great to experience the car on an F1 track. The race will be physically demanding, with the high down force and high temperatures, but I have had the chance to arrive in Malaysia already and spend a full week training, so I am acclimatised to the weather and time difference already and feel tuned-up for the race meeting. I hope that we can keep building on what the team has done so far and that we have another good weekend."
Graham Taylor, Team Principal, A1 Team Monaco: “Personally it will feel a little strange returning to Sepang after being there with an F1 car already this year. However, our visit this week allows the new A1GP Powered by Ferrari car to stretch its legs on a proven F1 circuit. The performance and down force of the car will give rise to intense competition throughout the weekend. A1 Team Monaco is looking forward to taking the next step in its evolution and we are on course following our point-scoring rounds at Zandvoort and Chengdu. The climate in Malaysia can give rise to changeable weather situations, but given that we have been competitive in both dry and wet circumstances, we are hoping for another strong weekend.”