A1 Team Australia finishes in the top 10 with new driver

A1 Team Australia finishes in the top 10 with new driver

13.03.2006: A1 Team Australia finishes in the top 10 with new driver



A1 Grand Prix of Nations, California, USA

Ryan Briscoe has had an impressive start in the A1 Grand Prix of Nations, finishing the feature race in eighth place and earning A1 Team Australia three valuable competition points in the second last race of the inaugural series.

The weather over the weekend at the Mazda Laguna Seca track was an issue for the drivers. Starting on Friday’s practise, with a freak snow storm meaning the second session had to be cancelled.

In Saturday’s qualifying session Ryan was the first man out in the opening session, and while he was also the first man to come off the track, he managed to recover with style to finish the day fifth fastest. This was A1 Team Australia’s best result in qualifying since the first race of the series at Brands Hatch, last September.

A1 Team Australia has been trying to secure Ryan for quite some time but due to other commitments have had to wait until Laguna Seca before getting him in the car. On the announcement Ryan said: "I would like to thank A1 Team Australia for giving me the opportunity to represent my country in the World Cup of Motorsport and I look forward to successful results for the team and our sponsor, Foster’s."

Alan Jones, Team Australia’s principal said: "We are very pleased to have Ryan in the car. He has slotted in perfectly and adapted to a new car on a track he has never raced on before with a great deal of professionalism. The other contribution which has been very welcomed is his feedback to the engineers. This is one of the reasons we were able to start Sunday’s race from the third row of the grid."

Sunday’s racing started with a slippery and wet track, and as the competition began for the Sprint race the skies opened. This made racing quite a challenge for Ryan who has not raced in the wet for several years, as Indy Car racing does not allow drivers to race in the rain.

Ryan Briscoe finished tenth in the Sprint Race, picking up one point for Team Australia in his first race for the team. In the feature race Ryan did well to avoid the spinning Thomas Enge – A1 Team Czech Republic driver - on his way to a hard fought eighth place.

Alan Jones commented: "Ryan was posting second and third fastest lap times consistently throughout the race and considering he missed the start, finishing eighth was a great result."

Ryan joins Perth local, Karl Reindler, as the two drivers for A1 Team Australia. 20 year old Reindler tested with the team back at the start of the season but due to other commitments is yet to drive ‘in anger’ for Team Australia.

In other news from the race, Team France has won the inaugural A1 Grand Prix Championship after coming second in the Sprint race. They now have an unassailable lead going into the final race which will be held on April 2nd in Shanghai. Team Mexico are the other winners from the weekend taking out both the sprint and the feature race on a rain sodden track.

1 Mexico Salvador Duran 1.00.52.974
2 Germany Timo Scheider 1.00.55.016 +2.042
3 Great Britain Robbier Kerr 1.00.56.091 +3.117
4 Portugal Alvaro Parente 1.01.03.394 +10.420
5 Canada Patrick Carpentier 1.01.07.157 +14.183
6 Ireland Ralph Firman 1.01.13.779 +20.805
7 Italy Mac Papis 1.01.16.173 +23.199
8 Australia Ryan Briscoe 1.01.17.210 +24.236
9 Austria Mathias Lauda 1.01.22.203 +29.229
10 Malaysia Alex Yoong 1.01.23.046 +30.072
11 Pakistan Adam Khan 1.01.24.365 +31.391
12 New Zealand Matt Halliday 1.01.24.951 +31.977
13 Switzerland Giorgio Mondini 38 laps 2 laps
14 France Nicolas Lapierre 37 laps 3 laps
15 USA Bryan Herta 37 laps 3 laps
16 Czech Republic Tomas Enge 34 laps 6 laps
17 China Tengyi Jiang 33 laps 7 laps
18 Brazil Christian Fittipaldi 29 laps 11 laps
19 Indonesia Ananda Mikola 28 laps 12 laps
20 Lebanon Graham Rahal 27 laps 13 laps
21 Netherlands Jos Verstappen 17 laps 23 laps
22 South Africa Stephen Simpson 3 laps 37 laps

The bonus point for the fastest race lap of the day went to A1 Team France who recorded a time of 1.17.951 on lap 27 of the Feature race, with a speed of 166.4kph.

 

Series Points to date – A1 Grand Prix of Nations, California, USA

1 France 163 World Champions – Winners of the first World Cup of Motorsport

2 Switzerland 121
3 Great Britain 88
4 Brazil 70
5 Netherlands 69
6 New Zealand 67
7 Portugal 66
8 Ireland 61
9 Canada 55
10 Malaysia 54
11 Mexico 48
12 Italy 44
13 Australia 41
14 Czech Republic 41
15 Germany 38
16 USA 22
17 South Africa 20
18 Austria 14
19 Indonesia 10
20 Japan 8
21 China 6
22 Pakistan 4

The final round of A1 Grand Prix, the World Cup of Motorsport will be held at the Shanghai International Circuit, China on 31 March – 2 April 2006.

ALAN JONES – TEAM AUSTRALIA PRINCIPAL

Alan Jones needs no introduction to motorsport fans throughout Australia, or the world for that matter. Having been born into a motorsport family, with father Stan already a legend of the sport in Australia, Alan catapulted Formula One into the psyche of the Australian General Public after his triumph in the 1980 World Championship – the first Australian to do so since Sir Jack Brabham in the 1960’s. His World Championship was the first of many for the-then fledgling Williams Formula One team. Following his Formula One career, AJ as he is affectionately known, embarked on a career in domestic Touring Car racing and was the face of Australian Formula One television coverage for many years.

RYAN BRISCOE

Ryan is a 25 year old Sydneysider who has been racing since he was 11 year old. After winning a host of junior kart titles started racing Formula A in 1997, a year later he won the championship and repeated the feat in the next series. In 2000 Ryan won the Formula Renault Italian Championship. This led to him signing with the Toyota Drivers Academy. Most recently Ryan has been racing for Chip Gnassi’s racing team in the IRL Indycar Championship and has test driven for Toyota’s Formula One team.

-Sam Dawson, A1 Team Australia -
photos copyright A1 GP SERIES

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13.03.2006 / MaP

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