A1 GP SERIES - Championship winner's A1 Team France start from row two in China

A1 GP SERIES - Championship winner's A1 Team France start from row two in China

01.04.2006: A1 GP SERIES - Championship winner's A1 Team France start from row two in China



Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai/China; Saturday, 1 April 2006

A1 Team France starts tomorrow's Sprint Race in Shanghai/China from row two of the grid. After a very competitive and exciting session, Alexandre Prémat took third  place on the grid behind pole setter Malaysia and Great Britain. A1 Team France has already won the inaugural A1 Grand Prix series but aims to end the season on a high. Here in Shanghai both drivers are at the wheel.

While Nicolas Lapierre took part in yesterday's free practice sessions it was the turn of Alexandre Prémat to qualify for Sunday race. He started the first of four qualifying sessions in 4th (1:52.848 min), and then went on to set fastest time (1:52.099 min) in the 2nd session. A slight mistake afterwards left him 10th in the third session (1:52.983 min), however, he recovered to claim 4th in the final session (1:52.293). The sum of the two best qualifying laps was 3:44.392 min.

Alexandre Prémat said: "I only had a few laps in the dry, as the track was drying slowly in the only free practice session this morning. It was difficult to understand the car and the new track in such a short time. On top of that I made mistakes on my qualifying laps. But I enjoy pushing to the limit and am confident of handing over the car to Nicolas in a good position after the Sprint Race." Prémat will compete in the Sprint Race and Nicolas Lapierre will contest the Feature Race after, which is the final of the 2006 A1 GP season.

Jean-Paul Driot, team principal, A1 Team France commented: "Since we are not on pole I'm not satisfied. I don't think we found the perfect setup. This is also due to the fact that we decided to share this round with both drivers. But tomorrow is another day and I'm sure that my drivers know exactly how to get the maximum out of this situation."

A1 Team France is one of 25 teams competing in the new A1 Grand Prix Series, "The World Cup of Motorsport". Before the final round of the season in Shanghai, China, on Sunday, Team A1 France leads the championship with 163 points ahead of A1 Team Switzerland (121 points). This means A1 Team France already has the title in its pocket.

Drivers Nicolas Lapierre and Alexandre Prémat are two highly talented youngsters taking turns at the wheel. A1 Grand Prix continues to make huge strides in attracting worldwide audiences in its inaugural season. After its first season, A1GP reaches an average audience of more than 8 million viewers per race in more than 120 countries.

Do not miss the race coverage on Sunday on Eurosport (France), Premiere (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), Supersport (Greece and Cyprus), Sky Italia (Italy), RTP (Portugal), BSKYB Ltd (UK, Ireland, Isle of Man, Channel), SportTV (Russia), Sogecable (Spain), RTL7 (NL- achieving nearly 800,000 viewers per race with an even more  impressive market share of 16 per cent), 365 Media (Iceland) or RTE 2 Eire, SABC South Africa is also achieving impressive market share with nearly 10 per cent of all viewers tuning into A1GP. 

 

- Stefan Pajung, A1 Team France -

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/a1-gp-series-team-france-china-shanghai-international-circuit-alexandre-premat-nicolas-lapierre-jean-paul-driot-world-cup-of-motorsport---10014.html

01.04.2006 / MaP

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