A1 Teams France and New Zealand led the way in the opening two practice sessions for the ninth round of the World Cup of Motorsport, both recording consistently fast lap times.

As the drivers struggled to get to grips with the wet conditions on a track new to all but four teams, several cars spun off the track but most managed to get back on and continue the session. The white car of A1 Team Japan was the only to suffer damage when driver, Hayanari Shimoda slid off in the first session hitting a tyre wall, an accident that put the team out of the second session.

Finishing the day at the top of the time sheets, A1 Team New Zealand's Matt Halliday said: ‘We had a really good day, we were fastest in the first and second sessions, and we managed to put together a really good set up. We have been progressing really well in the last two races and I think we have a good chance of ending the season on a high note. I'm feeling pretty confident for tomorrow.'

Second place man Alexandre Premat for A1 Team France said: ‘The track is ok, it is slippery in places. We had a good day and I think we will do well tomorrow in qualifying.'

After setting the third fastest time, A1 Team Germany driver Timo Scheider said: ‘We made a few changes to the car today which worked well. I didn't walk around the track beforehand like some of the drivers did, which made it a bit more difficult. It is a strange track as it is slippery in places and there is quite a lot of grip in others. I think we will have an interesting race and there will be opportunity for overtaking.'

Local hero, David Martinez, born and raised in Monterrey, is hopeful for a good result this weekend despite struggling in the wet conditions. ‘It was harder than I thought, I was quick on the first sector but couldn't find the speed in the second and third sectors. When it gets a bit dryer I will feel more confident.'

Official Practice Session 1
  A1 Team Driver Time No. Laps
1 New Zealand Matt Halliday 1.38.067 27
2 France Alexandre Premat 1.38.300 23
3 Germany Timo Scheider 1.38.969 27
4 Switzerland Neel Jani 1.39.335 21
5 South Africa Stephen Simpson 1.39.803 21
6 Czech Republic Tomas Enge 1.39.827 20
7 Canada Patrick Carpentier 1.39.939 20
8 USA Bryan Herta 1.39.969 20
9 Great Britain Robbie Kerr 1.40.371 20
10 Malaysia Alex Yoong 1.40.810 13
11 Brazil Christian Fittipaldi 1.40.813 23
12 Lebanon Graham Rahal 1.41.081 24
13 Austria Patrick Friesacher 1.41.118 18
14 Netherlands Jos Verstappen 1.41.133 11
15 Indonesia Ananda Mikola 1.41.338 11
16 Italy Enrico Toccacelo 1.41.630 20
17 Mexico David Martinez 1.41.730 23
18 Ireland Ralph Firman 1.41.864 20
19 Australia Christian Jones 1.42.408 23
20 China Tengyi Jiang 1.42.997 23
21 Japan Hayanari Shimoda 1.49.737 3
22 Portugal Alvaro Parente   0


Official Practice session 2 (16.00 – 17.00)

  A1 Team Driver Time No. Laps
1 France Alexandre Premat 1.38.926 18
2 New Zealand Matt Halliday 1.38.985 21
3 Portugal Alvaro Parente 1.39.054 22
4 Czech Republic Tomas Enge 1.39.254 20
5 Germany Timo Scheider 1.39.524 18
6 Great Britain Robbie Kerr 1.39.556 16
7 South Africa Stephen Simpson 1.39.868 12
8 Ireland Ralph Firman 1.39.994 25
9 Switzerland Neel Jani 1.40.155 18
10 USA Bryan Herta 1.40.365 16
11 Netherlands Jos Verstappen 1.40.710 17
12 Italy Enrico Toccacelo 1.40.713 22
13 Austria Patrick Friesacher 1.40.787 16
14 Brazil Christian Fittipaldi 1.40.837 26
15 Indonesia Ananda Mikola 1.40.946 21
16 Mexico David Martinez 1.41.021 21
17 Canada Patrick Carpentier 1.41.623 16
18 Malaysia Alex Yoong 1.41.861 16
19 Lebanon Graham Rahal 1.42.018 19
20 China Tengyi Jiang 1.42.239 19
21 Australia Marcus Marshall 1.44.171 18
22 Japan Hayanari Shimoda   0

Reporting by A1GP.com
Patrick Carpentier made his A1GP debut for Team Canada.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Team Ireland in the pit road.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Team South Africa protecting themselves and their car from the weather.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Christian Fittipaldi is representing Team Brazil again.
(Picture A1GP.com)
The crowd favourite, David Martinez (Team Mexico).
(Picture A1GP.com)
Another A1GP first-timer, Graham Rahal (Team Lebanon).
(Picture A1GP.com)
Patrick Carpentier waits in the Team Canada car.
(Picture A1GP.com)
The third newcomer, Patrick Friesacher (Team Austria).
(Picture A1GP.com)
Timo Scheider (Team Germany).
(Picture A1GP.com)