Great Britain Top Friday Practice In Malaysia
Sepang, Malaysia Round three of A1GP World Cup of Motorsport got underway at the Sepang International Circuit this morning with Frances Nicolas Prost starting the day as the quickest rookie and Great Britains Danny Watts ending the day quickest overall in Malaysia.
A1 Team France got off to a flying start in the rookie session with Nicolas Prost topping the timesheets right at the end of the session. His time of 1-minute 50.679s was nearly half a second quicker than anyone else.
Great Britains Danny Watts was second quickest, ahead of Earl Bamber on his return for New Zealand. Indias Armaan Ebrahim was fourth, just beating home nation Malaysia, who had Aaron Lim behind the wheel to start the day.
Chengdu was mostly about bumps rather than turns but this track is really amazing, said Prost. I was really looking forward to coming here because it's one of the nicest tracks in the world, and I think it was the first time we could get the real potential out the car, especially in the quick corners. Turns 5 and 6, the quick left and right, in particular were pretty good.
In hot and humid conditions, Great Britain topped the timesheets in the afternoons official practice session. Watts time of 1m 50.038s set on his second flying lap couldnt be bettered during the hour practice.
Due to a gearbox problem, A1 Team Switzerland didnt make it out on track during this mornings session, but the lack of track time didnt hinder Neel Jani. Last season, Jani had the perfect weekend claiming both pole positions and converting them into wins, so it was no surprise that after doing only nine laps today, he clocked a time of 1m 50.110s, just 0.072 adrift of Watts.
A1 Team Indias Narain Karthikeyans time of 1m 50.187s in the final minutes of the session was, just 0.149s from pole while Loc Duval took over the wheel of the French car to finish the day fourth-quickest.
With the extra running I got this morning I was always going to be there or there abouts, said Watts. I think looking at the times, the top ten are very close and there's hardly anything in it. It will be the same story tomorrow so it will be very tight at the top.
Home nation Malaysia ended the day tenth. Fairuz Fauzy said: There is a bit of pressure, but its good pressure. The last lap was a good run. We managed to do a bit of work on the car, as at the beginning of the session I was struggling with grip, especially on low speed corners. I was struggling to get the front to turn in and I got massive under steer. I was a second off the pace to begin with but during the session we did change the car and the last lap was a good one only six tenths off the fastest.
Official Practice Session 1 Rookie drivers and developing nations only Part 1
POS/ A1 TEAM/ DRIVER/ TIME/ GAP FIRST/ LAPS1 GREAT BRITAIN Danny WATTS 01:51.096 - 112 FRANCE Nicolas PROST 01:51.764 0.668 103 INDIA Armaan EBRAHIM 01:52.739 1.643 144 NEW ZEALAND Earl BAMBER 01:52.933 1.837 95 NETHERLANDS Dennis RETERA 01:53.221 2.125 86 USA John R. HILDEBRAND JR. 01:53.423 2.327 107 MALAYSIA Aaron LIM 01:53.589 2.493 118 IRELAND Niall QUINN 01:53.676 2.58 79 BRAZIL Felipe GUIMARAES 01:54.126 3.03 710 PORTUGAL Armando PARENTE 01:54.236 3.14 1111 ITALY Stefano COLETTI 01:54.921 3.825 812 SOUTH AFRICA Gavin CRONJE 01:55.043 3.947 1013 AUSTRALIA Ashley WALSH 01:55.400 4.304 214 INDONESIA Zahir ALI 01:56.058 4.962 915 LEBANON Daniel MORAD 02:00.672 9.576 316 KOREA Jin Woo HWANG 117 SWITZERLAND Alexandre IMPERATORI 0
Official Practice Session 1 Rookie drivers and developing nations only Part 2
POS A1 TEAM/ DRIVER/ TIME/ GAP FIRST/ LAPS1 FRANCE Nicolas PROST 01:50.679 - 132 NEW ZEALAND Earl BAMBER 01:51.240 0.561 113 GREAT BRITAIN Danny WATTS 01:51.319 0.64 124 MALAYSIA Aaron LI 01:51.815 1.136 135 ITALY Stefano COLETTI 01:51.839 1.16 146 LEBANON Daniel MORAD 01:52.008 1.329 107 INDIA Armaan EBRAHIM 01:52.205 1.526 88 USA John R. HILDEBRAND JR. 01:52.325 1.646 129 NETHERLANDS Dennis RETERA 01:52.603 1.924 1110 SOUTH AFRICA Gavin CRONJE 01:52.747 2.068 1311 PORTUGAL Armando PARENTE 01:53.272 2.593 912 AUSTRALIA Ashley WALSH 01:53.277 2.598 1113 KOREA Jin Woo HWANG 01:54.49 3.82 1114 INDONESIA Zahir ALI 01:54.903 4.224 1015 BRAZIL Felipe GUIMARAES 02:14.510 23.831 216 IRELAND Niall QUINN 017 SWITZERLAND Alexandre IMPERATORI 0
Official Practice session 2
1 GREAT BRITAIN Danny WATTS 2 01:50.03 - 132 SWITZERLAND Neel JANI 8 01:50.110 0.072 93 INDIA Narain KARTHIKEYAN 12 01:50.187 0.149 144 FRANCE Loic DUVAL 10 01:50.277 0.239 155 NETHERLANDS Jeroen BLEEKEMOLEN 9 01:50.363 0.325 166 PORTUGAL Filipe ALBUQUERQUE 19 01:50.404 0.366 207 IRELAND Adam CARROLL 16 01:50.559 0.521 168 NEW ZEALAND Earl BAMBER 10 01:50.583 0.545 179 MONACO Clivio PICCIONE 20 01:50.61 0.58 2110 MALAYSIA Fairuz FAUZY 22 01:50.620 0.582 2211 LEBANON Daniel MORAD 3 01:50.962 0.924 1512 CHINA Ho Pin TUNG 16 01:51.291 1.253 2213 USA Marco ANDRETTI 17 01:51.358 1.32 1814 SOUTH AFRICA Adrian ZAUGG 14 01:51.439 1.401 2115 BRAZIL Felipe GUIMARAES 3 01:51.520 1.482 1416 AUSTRALIA John MARTIN 14 01:51.642 1.604 1917 MEXICO David GARZA 9 01:51.775 1.737 1918 ITALY Edoardo PISCOPO 14 01:51.954 1.916 1419 INDONESIA Satrio HERMANTO 15 01:52.406 2.368 21