New Zealand set early pace A1GP A1 Team New Zealand’s Earl Bamber got his weekend in the Algarve off to a good start, by topping the timesheets in the opening rookie session. Bamber lapped the new Autodromo Algarve circuit in 1m 34.147 seconds, as the track dried from morning rain.
France’s Nicolas Prost was second quickest, half a second behind with a similar margin back to Switzerland’s Alexandre Imperatori.
The major talking point of the session was that it was stopped for a lengthy period after a huge accident befalling Brazilian female Ana Beatriz.
She went straight on at the first turn, scrubbing off little speed before heading into the tires head first. The safety cell of the A1GP Powered by Ferrari car stood up well to the crash, and Beatriz was able to walk from the car unaided, without serious injury.
However, the rest of the car was badly damaged in the incident and the tire barriers took time to repair before the session could restart.
The session was then prematurely ended, after a spin to new USA rookie Robbie Pecorari.
With teams still exploring the limits of the circuit, the general expectation is that times are going to continue to tumble in this afternoon’s practice session.
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