German team sets pace at Silverstone
A1 Team Germany has started the run up to the new A1GP World Cup of Motorsport season where it left off in the old one, on top of the time sheets. This time the driver for the reigning champions was Christian Vietoris and on the second, and final, day of the official pre-season test at Silverstone he set a time nearly half a second faster than that put in on day one by A1 Team South Africa.
The main rival to Germany was A1 Team Great Britain, with Robbie Kerr's best time a quarter of a second slower, while third was A1 Team Switzerland with Sebastian Buemi at the wheel. All three set their times in the morning session, with the fastest of the afternoon being set by Great Britain, but this time with Oliver Jarvis at the wheel.
While the teams were all concentrating on getting their cars race prepared for the start of the season in the Netherlands in four weeks time, they also took the opportunity in front of a large international press contingent to make various driver announcements. On the rookie front Nicolas Prost, son of four times Formula One World Champion, Alain Prost, will be representing A1 Team France, and 2006 McLaren/Autosport Award winner, Oliver Turvey, will be doing some races for Great Britain. This was not the only news from GBR as Jarvis will be the main driver for the team at the opening race in Zandvoort and Kerr will then take over in race two in Brno.
After setting the quickest ever time by an A1GP car round Silverstone's 3.62 kilometer (2.25 mile) long International Circuit, 18-year-old Vietoris said: 'We are here for testing and at the end of the day it doesn't matter who is quickest, we have yesterday tried some things and also today, and we finished quite good. Being first is always a good start into the season and we have tried some good things and found some good solutions and I'm looking forward to it. It takes a bit of time and it's getting better and better.'
Kerr, who had a first and a second in the final race of the 2006/07 season at Brands Hatch, commented: 'For me its my first day of testing, I only had this morning to go out there and test the car and see what its handling like and get use to it one again after Brands Hatch. Its great to be back in the A1GP car, to be second quickest is particularly good seeing as I only had this morning, and one set of tires compared to the others that had more running time. I'm really looking forward to the start of the season and can't wait to get back in the car at Brno.'
Speaking on the two day test, A1GP chief executive, Pete da Silva said: 'It was fantastic to see all the national teams back out on track together for the first time since our Brands Hatch race. I was encouraged to see so much new, young talent testing with seasoned professionals. It's our responsibility within A1GP to ensure we capture that talent and give it the forum to be seen on a global platform.
'A huge part of testing was the unveiling of our new environmental policy, THINK Greener Racing, and I was delighted to welcome Peter Ainsworth MP, Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment to Silverstone. It is all our duties to ensure that the message we have developed is promoted to our millions of fans worldwide.'