Wirth breaks Assen track record in Champ CarUPDATE Let's go back to 2005 in Monterrey, Mexico where both the Champ Car and A1GP series raced that year at this circuit. The fastest lap time during the race for Champ Car was a 1:14.529 and for A1GP it was a 1:21.100, a difference of 6.571 sec. Pole position times for both series were 1:13.253 for Champ Car and 1:22.078 for A1GP (difference 8.825 sec). Note: The A1GP cars were quicker during the race at Monterrey then in qualifying!
Yesterday at Assen, Andreas Wirth recorded a 1:28.276 lap in the Lola Champ Car and Jeroen Bleekemolen did a 1:30.486, a difference of 2.210 sec. Now we have to take in mind this circuit is more or less Bleekemolen’s 'home' circuit (he was even racing in the BRL V6 series there last weekend). Needless to say the guy knows the circuit inside out. Andreas Wirth on the other hand had never seen the circuit before and apart from 2 laps, as passenger in the safety car, didn't know the circuit. He therefore, had to learn the circuit and try to break the lap record at the same time in a car not setup for Assen ... which he, astoundingly, managed. Bearing in mind Andreas hadn't been in a racing car for 9 months gives his performance extra significance.
We can reasonably assume Bleekemolen's A1GP lap time yesterday was an absolute cracker, which will be - very - difficult to break. Comparing the 2005 lap times at Monterrey again, we can expect Champ Car to get down to a qualifying lap time of around 1:21.000 (on the reds) and a fastest lap time of around the 1:22.000 mark at Assen. Let's wait and see ... it can't rain though!
Looking at Zolder (Belgium), scene of the next Champ Car race, and comparing Formula 3 times on both Assen and Zolder, Champ Car should be able to get down to a qualifying time of around 1:12.500 (again on the reds) and a fastest race lap time of 1:13.500, maybe even quicker!
08/12/07 Andreas Wirth did the Champ Car demonstration today at Assen, beating Jos Verstappen’s A1GP lap record from last year (1:32.184) by almost 4 secs. and bringing it down to 1:28.276 in front of 45,000 fans.
These were Wirth's first 5 laps ever on the Assen TT circuit and after the Champ Car demonstration Jeroen Bleekemolen, with all his circuit knowledge, tried to break Wirth's just driven lap record, but didn't manage to crack it, managing only a 1:30.486. Look for the new Champ Car to lower that mark even further when they show up to race in three weeks.
Also present were both Suzuki MotoGP riders to promote the events sponsor Rizla involvement.
Almost everybody was pleasantly surprised by the noise level of the Champ Car as it was by far the quietest of the three demonstration runs! The Suzuki GSV-R 800 MotoGP bikes of Chris Vermeulen and John Hopkins produced by far most of the noise, followed by the A1GP car of Team Netherlands.
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