After being the fastest, Mexico qualifies 8th for the first race on Sunday

22.11.2008: After being the fastest, Mexico qualifies 8th for the first race on Sunday

Mexican A1GP team started Saturday's activities closing the practice sessions previous to the qualifying session, as the fastest among the 20 teams participating from different countries. Thus, the Mexican team demonstrated that it's working correctly towards the goal of fighting for the top places.

After that, in the qualifying heats, a new factor had to be taken into consideration, the Power Boost, which A1GP started using on this date in Sepang, and that all teams can use in one of the four qualifying sessions.

This feature provides the engine with 60 additional hp during a whole lap. So, each team must decide in which session to use it, and as a result, the grids for the Sprint and Feature races were very different.

The first two qualifying heats are to make up the Sprint race grid. In the first one, the Mexican team was affected by a red flag caused by the Korean team and this prevented the Aztec team from taking its timed lap. In the second heat, David Garza decided to use the Power Boost to achieve a good place on the grid for the short race, and was able to classify the car in the eighth position in spite of having made a small mistake on the curves that caused him to lose tenths of seconds.

For the next two qualifying sessions, that conform the Feature race grid, the A1 Team Mex as well as the other teams which had already used the Power Boost would have a disadvantage, and this was confirmed when Switzerland, after achieving the Pole for the short race, placed themselves in the 16th place for the Feature race. Mexico achieved the 18th position and will have to play with strategy on the track and pit stops to be able to move up the field during the event tomorrow.

David Garza, main driver for the A1 Team Mex: "Today we had a strange mixture of good and bad luck in qualifying. First the red flag caused by Korea prevented us from going out in the first qualifying session and this affected our strategy. Then, during my lap using the Power Boost, I made a mistake in curve 6 and went off the track, losing at least half a second, if not more.

Here is when the good luck kicked in, because even so our time was good enough to allow us to get 8th place. Afterwards, for the two qualifying sessions for the second race (sessions 3 and 4), we simply couldn't give more. If I braked too late I’d lost the curve, if I entered the curve faster, it took me out, if I tried to step on the throttle before going out of the curve, I’d lost front grip.

All these details, added up, make a difference of a second that added to what I still need to know about the car prevented us from being able to get a better position. If we also take into account that at least 4 or 5 teams that we know that are behind us used their Power Boost to qualify in the second race, it explains why we are 18th.

Positively speaking is the fact that we are fighting more strongly and consistently. Today we are advancing and tomorrow I'm sure we will be even closer. Now we are going to focus on capitalizing something from the first race, to then start thinking about the second one."

Qualifying for the Sprint Race

1. Switzerland 1:47.154

2. France +0.593

3. New Zealand +0.625

8. Mexico +2.139

Qualifying for the Feature Race

1. Ireland 1:47.124

2. Great Britain +0.216

3. Lebanon +0.521

18. Mexico + 2.413

The Sprint and Feature races will take place tomorrow. Keep up-to-date with the Mexican A1GP Team in Latin America through Speed Channel at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday (Central Time).

 

- A1 Team Mexico - also photo and A1GP

more photos will be on automobilsport.com under PHOTOS - A1GP SERIES

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/a1-team-mexico-sepang-mexican-team-david-garza-power-boost---47717.html

22.11.2008 /

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