Having flown overnight from a GP2 test at the Paul Ricard track in the South of France, A1 Team South Africa’s main driver, Adrian Zaugg made his long awaited return to A1GP at his home race in Durban, South Africa this morning after a three race break as he recovered from surgery on a forearm injury.

Adrian flew in this morning and headed straight to the track for the first practice session of the Durban race weekend. Despite suffering a broken drive shaft on the first lap out, A1 Team South Africa recorded the 13th fastest lap of the morning session and 10th fastest lap of the afternoon session.

‘It felt as if I arrived just five minutes before the session, but I had enough time to start on time and get prepared in the car so that was okay. It was just a drive shaft that broke on my first lap but in motorsport things like that happen. Then I pushed a bit too much later, missed my braking and hit the wall, so we had to retire and I was only able to do one lap in the rookie session. The track is really fantastic and lots of fun to drive. It is a bit bumpy but everybody has the same problems and so this is not something I need to worry about’, Zaugg commented.

A1 Team France’s Loic Duval set the fastest time of both sessions, putting his experience of street circuits at Pau, Monaco and Macau to good use. Commenting on the Durban track, Duval said: ‘This morning I spent learning the track and this afternoon unfortunately we had some mechanical problems at the beginning and many red flags, but the car is quite good. I didn’t do a really, really good lap but the time looks fine so it was okay. Now we have to take care about the German, South African and New Zealand teams, but everything is all right. Durban looks a really nice track and it was good fun to drive today.’

Unfortunately the final practice of the day was cut short when a small section of track kerbing at turn seven broke up. The organisers are now repairing the area and foresee no further problems over the weekend. After a further free practice session at 11.00 in the morning, Qualifying for the Sprint race will take place with four 15 minute sessions between 14.15 and 15.30.

Official Practice Session 1 – Rookie drivers and developing nations only

  A1 Team Driver Time No. Laps
1 France Loic Duval 1.19.836 12
2 India Narain Karthikeyan 1.20.120 24
3 China Ho Pin Tung 1.20.746 26
4 Switzerland Marcel Fassler 1.20.924 24
5 Italy Michele Rugolo 1.20.947 24
6 Netherlands Renger van der Zande 1.20.966 23
7 USA Jonathan Summerton 1.21.097 22
8 Singapore Christian Murchison 1.21.409 18
9 Great Britain Oliver Jarvis 1.21.443 23
10 Ireland Richard Lyons 1.21.448 18
11 Portugal Alvaro Parente 1.21.550 7
12 Australia Ian Dyk 1.21.678 19
13 South Africa Adrian Zaugg 1.21.684 2
14 Canada Kevin Lacroix 1.21.943 26
15 Czech Republic Filip Salaquarda 1.22.924 14
16 Lebanon Allam Khodair 1.23.066 16
17 Indonesia Moreno Soeprapto 1.23.809 16
18 Brazil Luiz Razia 1.27.261 5
19 Pakistan Nur Ali 1.27.264 16

A1 Team Portugal were permitted to take part in one of the two sectors that made up practice session one to shakedown their car.

Official Practice session 2 (14.00 – 15.00)

  A1 Team Driver Time No. Laps
1 France Loic Duval 1.18.620 5
2 Ireland Richard Lyons 1.19.179 11
3 Germany Nico Hulkenberg 1.19.350 10
4 Czech Republic Tomas Enge 1.19.358 6
5 Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen 1.19.441 14
6 Switzerland Neel Jani 1.19.583 14
7 Indonesia Ananda Mikola 1.19.739 14
8 India Narain Karthikeyan 1.19.772 15
9 China Ho Pin Tung 1.19.779 7
10 South Africa Adrian Zaugg 1.19.888 13
11 Brazil Bruno Junqueira 1.19.902 14
12 Portugal Alvaro Parente 1.19.918 5
13 New Zealand Matt Halliday 1.19.932 14
14 Malaysia Alex Yoong 1.20.154 14
15 USA Jonathan Summerton 1.20.288 15
16 Italy Enrico Toccacelo 1.20.308 15
17 Australia Karl Reindler 1.20.809 8
18 Mexico Salvador Duran 1.20.828 11
19 Canada James Hinchcliffe 1.21.137 13
20 Lebanon Allam Khodair 1.21.240 14
21 Great Britain Robbie Kerr 1.21.256 9
22 Pakistan Nur Ali 1.24.317 16
23 Singapore Christian Murchison - -

A1 Team Singapore did not set a time in the afternoon practice session as they continued to work on the car after an incident in the morning session where the car sustained damage after spinning off and hitting the wall.

Reporting by A1GP.com
Team France's Loic Duval was the pace setter in both sessions.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Narain Karthikeyan kept Team India at the front.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Ho Pin Tung (Team China) was third fastest in the first session.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Richard Lyons was an excellent second fastest in the second session for Team Ireland.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Robbie Kerr had a troubled time in the Team Great Britain car.
(Picture A1GP.com)
As ever Nico Hulkenberg and Team Germany were amongst the quickest.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Karl Reindler in the Team Australia car.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Jonathan Summerton will race the Team USA car this weekend.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Bruno Junqueira brings his experience to Team Brazil.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Alvaro Parente and Team Portugal have returned to the A1GP series.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Christian Murchison (Team Singapore) suffered an accident in practice.
(Picture A1GP.com)