A1 Team Great-Britain aiming for top ten finishes in Portugal

A1 Team Great-Britain aiming for top ten finishes in Portugal

12.04.2009: A1Team Great Britain completed two days of preparation for the Vodafone A1GP Algarve, Portugal, with Dan Clarke driving the car for his home nation at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, a brand new circuit close to Portimao. After

A1Team Great Britain completed two days of preparation for the Vodafone A1GP Algarve, Portugal, with Dan Clarke driving the car for his home nation at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, a brand new circuit close to Portimao. After a highly competitive qualifying session Clarke lines up 13th on the grid for tomorrow’s Sprint race and 16th for the Feature race.

Clarke was making his second appearance for the British team, having made his A1GP debut in Taupo, New Zealand earlier in the year. The former Champ Car driver was on the back foot today, after technical issues yesterday left him having only completed four laps in the practice sessions. This lack of running was evident in today’s final practice hour, with the British driver languishing towards the back of the field. His efforts were also hampered by a series of red flag stoppages which made it difficult for the team to find the rhythm and collect the necessary data to make improvements.

Clarke suffered understeer initially, but after set up adjustments was able to improve on his time. After the session he reported, “I reckon that most of the time we need to find is in me rather than the car. Limited running always makes it difficult, so we’ll just have to see what we can do in qualifying.”

The first two runs to set the Sprint race grid featured red flags in each of the two segments. The British team ran early in the 10 minutes available in these, so were able to set times without being affected, and after setting a provisional 10th place after the first run, Clarke finished 13th quickest to take this position for the Sprint race.

The Feature race grid was set from the final two runs of the session and with the majority of the teams using their PowerBoosts, the times were close. Clarke put up a good fight, but his lack of running compromised his performance with the Brit posting 16th fastest time to take this grid slot for the Feature race.

Clarke said after qualifying,
“It hasn’t been too bad a day, considering we hardly had any running yesterday and only six timed laps this morning. It’s not the end of the grid that you want to be on, but it’s been quite difficult for us up until now. The story inside the garage is a little different than the one you see outside, with plenty of hard work and a very positive approach. Realistically, we can improve; we’ll be looking at the data, finding the chunks that we need - and they are obviously there. The track is quite challenging, so it could be an interesting day tomorrow.”

The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, Algarve culminates tomorrow with two races, a 20 minute Sprint race and a 70 minutes Feature race. Fans will also be entertained with the colourful pageant of the traditional A1GP drivers’ parade and opening ceremony.

 
- A1 Team Great-Britain - photos A1GP
More photos on automobilsport.com under PHOTOS SLIDESHOWS and Photos Ecards A1GP

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12.04.2009 / MaP

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