Reid again fastest in afternoon Mexico City, Mexico - The first day of practice for this weekend's A1GP Mexico City, Mexico showed promise of an exciting and competitive pair of races ahead with the time sheet order continuously changing. Even the reduction in power due to the track being over a mile high didn't mean that the cars were not flying.
A1 Team New Zealand had regular driver Jonny Reid (pictured right) back behind the wheel after Matt Halliday stepped in for the Durban round. He was soon back in the groove, clocking the fastest lap of the day in the closing minutes of practice session two. 'We just went out casually going through our normal program making sure everything was right for the race. Then we got on with the job and realized the car was not quite on the pace. We just tuned in and sorted the problem and got P1 - we were pretty pleased about it,' Reid commented.
It was from A1 Team Great Britain's Oliver Jarvis that New Zealand snatched P1, although the young rookie had the satisfaction of clocking the fastest time in the first session. As this is only his second full weekend of driving in A1GP, Jarvis was pleased with the results.
'This was my first time at the circuit and also only the second time I shall be doing the whole weekend so I am looking forward to that. It is a fantastic track and I am delighted to be here. It is one of those circuits where you have got to get into the groove. It is flowing with a lot of corners that lead onto each other. Fortunately I got to know the track well and made good progress in the rookie session. I made a few mistakes on the tires but this was due to inexperience on the new tires and I think we will be strong come the weekend and in qualifying. This is the second weekend and the first qualifying session for myself, as we all missed out on this in Beijing, so this will be a good experience,' said Jarvis.
The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is known to be a challenging track and with only A1 Team Brazil's Bruno Junqueira having raced here before, the drivers commented on the technicalities of the circuit and, in particular, the bumpy surface caused by the constantly moving ground the track is built on as this is an earthquake area.
A1 Team New Zealand's Jonny Reid said: 'It is very challenging, especially in the final turn as there is no margin for error. You have to compromise entry speed and exit speed in the final turn. The final turn is a lot like the Parabolica at Monza, and that is a similar corner which I have driven before so I enjoy that. Also I think the S complex is very challenging with the high curbs, as it is all about where you place the car. The bumps are another challenge, so it is all about positioning the car and getting the power down and putting a lap together.'
Great Britain's Oliver Jarvis continued on the same subject: 'It is quite a bumpy circuit and that does add another challenge. I will not say you can miss the bumps, but there are some better lines you can take through them to keep the car a little bit better settled. I am looking forward to my first qualifying session. Hopefully I can do a strong job but I think we will have a good race pace and I think here is going to be a circuit where we probably can overtake.'
Salvador Duran, main driver for home team Mexico was optimistic for a good race weekend, despite also having to learn the track from scratch. 'I am very optimistic about qualifying. I have never been on the track before. I made a couple of mistakes at the end so I could be a bit quicker. I don't think we will be on pole but I think we can be at the front. I think we have a good car, there are just a couple of small changes that we are already discussing. I think we are going to be okay so I am very happy,' said Duran.
Mexico's rookie, Sergio Perez went on to say: 'I really like being here at home and it is the first time I have driven here so it is very nice to be in front of all of you. All the support you are giving us is incredible. It is a dream for me to be here. It was dirty this morning and it was only at the end that you could set the good time, which showed just how dirty the track was. Everybody was improving their times and I think it should be possible as well to improve out time.'
Official Practice Session 1 - Rookie drivers and developing nations only
A1 Team Driver Time No. Laps
1 Great Britain Oliver Jarvis 1.28.597 17
2 Germany Christian Vietoris 1.29.244 18
3 South Africa Alan van der Merwe 1.29.836 20
4 Netherlands Renger van der Zande 1.29.840 19
5 Lebanon Allam Khodair 1.29.987 21
6 Switzerland Marcel Fassler 1.30.001 13
7 Australia Ian Dyk 1.30.080 15
8 Mexico Sergio Perez 1.30.142 18
9 India Narain Karthikeyan 1.30.149 18
10 Czech Republic Janis Jarek 1.30.167 20
11 France Jean Karl Vernay 1.30.222 18
12 USA Jonathan Summerton 1.30.356 22
13 China Ho Pin Tung 1.30.408 21
14 Canada Kevin Lacroix 1.30.499 13
15 Portugal Joao Urbano 1.30.843 14
16 Ireland John O'Hara 1.31.487 21
17 Malaysia Aaron Lim 1.32.067 17
18 Indonesia Moreno Soeprapto 1.33.197 20
19 Pakistan Nur Ali 1.33.304 26
Official Practice session 2 (14.00 - 15.00)
A1 Team Driver Time No. Laps
1 New Zealand Jonny Reid 1.28.174 24
2 Great Britain Oliver Jarvis 1.28.185 16
3 Germany Christian Vietoris 1.28.244 21
4 Malaysia Alex Yoong 1.28.378 23
5 Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen 1.28.470 15
6 USA Jonathan Summerton 1.28.631 23
7 Italy Enrico Toccacelo 1.28.772 25
8 China Ho Pin Tung 1.28.800 23
9 South Africa Adrian Zaugg 1.28.860 23
10 Mexico Salvador Duran 1.28.979 27
11 France Jean Karl Vernay 1.28.988 21
12 Brazil Bruno Junqueira 1.29.047 21
13 India Narain Karthikeyan 1.29.067 19
14 Switzerland Marcel Fassler 1.29.150 25
15 Australia Ian Dyk 1.29.310 22
16 Canada James Hinchcliffe 1.29.391 25
17 Czech Republic Janis Jarek 1.29.424 18
18 Portugal Alvaro Parente 1.30.113 21
19 Lebanon Allam Khodair 1.30.135 22
20 Ireland Richard Lyons 1.30.199 20
21 Indonesia Ananda Mikola 1.30.276 25
22 Pakistan Nur Ali 1.32.084 24