A1 Team France tops the time sheets

A1 Team France tops the time sheets

18.01.2008: A1 Team France tops the time sheets

A1 Team France set the fastest time in Friday’s free practice sessions on the Taupo circuit in New Zealand. Loïc Duval was at home straight away on a track that he already knows, and set competitive times right from the outset with a best lap in 1m 15.545s.

The team used the data recorded last year as a base, which it optimised as the track conditions evolved. Tomorrow’s objective will be to capitalise on the performance of these first sessions, and optimise the car’s set-up to find speed over a lap and consistency over the race distance. Despite the changes made to the layout this year overtaking will be difficult as the track is very dusty off-line. More than ever it will be crucial to start from the front to be in with a chance of winning both the Sprint and Feature races.

Olivier Panis, sporting director: "We did not take part in the two sessions reserved for rookies; despite this the team found its marks right away. We progressed throughout the session and began preparing for the two races in a methodical fashion. Of course, it’s only Friday and the finishing line is still a long way off. However, starting the weekend in this way is the best possible thing for us."

Loïc Duval: " I really like the Taupo track which I know having already raced here with A1 Team France in 2007, so I was on the pace right away. Speed over a lap will be the key to the weekend as it’s going to be very difficult to overtake on this circuit. So once again we’re going to concentrate on this tomorrow, hoping to get a good position on the first two rows.

The change to bio fuel? Well, you don’t really feel it when driving. Its effect doesn’t make an impact under acceleration but rather at the top of the rev band. It gives a tiny, almost negligible, dip in performance;"

-A1 Team France -  photo A1GP

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18.01.2008 / MaP

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