A1 Team South Africa provided the excitement of the first day of this week’s official A1GP test at Silverstone, Great Britain.

Despite track time that totalled more than six hours, the team’s driver Adrian Zaugg chose the final five minutes to break the A1GP record for the circuit’s International layout.

Zaugg (pictured) went out on new tyres and smashed the previous best around the 2.3-mile track, before bettering it on the subsequent lap. The car is still painted white awaiting the launch of the team's new livery.

His fastest lap was 1m 10.484s – faster than the previous record of 1m 10.507s set by A1 Team Malaysia’s Fairuz Fauzy at last year’s official test sessions.

‘We were working on the car throughout the day,’ Zaugg said. ‘I thought we could be up there in the top six, as we were just concentrating on the set-up and trying to improve from run to run. Then we fitted new tyres, tried a few laps and it was a pretty good time.’

Nicolas Lapierre, who has won six races in A1GP, was second quickest for A1 Team France, with his time from this morning’s session, just 0.047 seconds off Zaugg’s best.

‘We did a good job today and it is better to be up here than at the back,’ Lapierre said. ‘But this is just a testing session. We are just working out the set-up for the races and giving some more experience to the young drivers to get ready for the first race as well.’

The other teams at the top of the time sheets were ‘locals’ A1 Teams Great Britain and Ireland.

Oliver Jarvis, who has the distinction of giving the British team its maiden victory in Mexico City last year, was third quickest while it was rookie Adam Carroll, who set the fourth fastest time for Ireland.

Jarvis played down the importance of the lap times, despite his strong performance on his late new tyre run.

Jarvis said: ‘When I set the time I realised it probably was not quick enough, as I expected the track to maybe get a little bit quicker. Unfortunately I had a bit of traffic in sector three, but probably every driver out there can say the same thing.

‘Being top of the times is all important, but it is nice to be up the front. It is nice to be in the top three, but tomorrow will be a different day altogether. It will be much stronger so if we end up at the top of the times tomorrow I shall be a much happier person.’

Carroll’s time was set this morning, and it looked for the majority of the day as it if it would hold up and be one of the top three fastest times of the day, however Zaugg and Jarvis’ new tyre runs put paid to that.

Neel Jani was fifth quickest for A1 Team Switzerland ahead of Jeroen Bleekemolen’s sixth place for A1 Team Netherlands. Bleekemolen complained the red flags spoiled his quickest runs.

A1GP Official Test, Day One, 28 August 2007, Silverstone International Circuit

1 SOUTH AFRICA 01m 10.484s
2 FRANCE + 0.047s
3 GREAT BRITAIN + 0.075s
4 IRELAND + 0.183s
5 SWITZERLAND + 0.189s
6 GERMANY + 0.390s
7 INDIA + 0.398s
8 NEW ZEALAND + 0.541s
9 NETHERLANDS + 0.585s
10 MALAYSIA + 0.853s
11 BRAZIL + 0.864s
12 USA + 0.961s
13 AUSTRALIA + 1.094s
14 ITALY + 1.129s
15 PORTUGAL + 1.188s
16 CHINA + 1.389s
17 INDONESIA + 1.536s
18 CZECH REPUBLIC + 1.680s
19 CANADA + 1.742s
20 PAKISTAN + 1.912s
21 LEBANON + 2.007s
22 MEXICO + 2.854s


A1 Team Germany started the 2007/08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport season as it finished it – at the top of the timesheets.

Following Nico Hulkenberg’s victory in the Feature race at Brands Hatch in April, new German driver Christian Vietoris took the fastest time in the first official pre-season test at Silverstone International Circuit this week.

Vietoris’ time of 1m 10.005s, set in this morning’s session, puts the best from last year’s official test at the same circuit into the shade. A1 Team Malaysia’s Fairuz Fauzy set the best last year, with a lap half a second slower.

‘We have tried some things and also today, and we finished quite good,’ Vietoris said. ‘Being first is always a good start into the season and we have tried some good things and found some good solutions. It takes a bit of time but it’s getting better and better.’

A1 Team South Africa’s Adrian Zaugg had held the record at the end of yesterday test day, but Vietoris’ lap was considerably quicker.

Great Britain’s Robbie Kerr set a lap 0.247s seconds slower than Vietoris, but with far less track time.

Kerr had only half a day in the British car, but was still bang on the pace.

‘I had to just go out there and test the car and see what its handling like and get used to it once again after Brands Hatch,’ Kerr said. ‘It’s great to be back in the A1GP car, to be second quickest is particularly good because I only had this morning and one set of tyres compared to the others that had more running time. I’m really looking forward to the start of the season and can’t wait to get back in the car at again.’

Switzerland’s Sebastien Buemi was also quick with just half a day’s running, recording what proved to be the third fastest time of the week in the same session as Kerr.

Zaugg’s first day pace-setting time was good enough for South Africa to secure fourth overall ahead of A1 Team France. Nicolas Lapierre’s lap from yesterday morning was good enough for the position, with the 23-year-old getting back in the groove quickly having not sat in A1GP car since the Indonesian A1GP round at Sentul in December 2006.

A1 Team New Zealand, runner-up last season, was sixth quickest with Jonny Reid, and an impressive performance from Ireland rookie, Adam Carroll, gave it the second fastest time.

Joao Urbano, who continued to improve as he got more laps in for A1 Team Portugal, with the eighth fastest time ahead of Sergio Jiminez for Brazil.

Narain Karthikeyan’s performance from yesterday was good enough for tenth in the newly-liveried India car. However, after suffering a high temperature and fever, he sat out the second day.

A1GP Official Test Silverstone, Day Two, classification

1 GERMANY 1:10.005
2 GREAT BRITIAN 1:10.252
3 SWITZERLAND 1:10.311
4 NEW ZEALAND 1:10.618
5 SOUTH AFRICA 1:10.714
6 PORTUGAL 1:10.762
7 BRAZIL 1:10.817
8 PAKISTAN 1:10.958
9 USA 1:11.047
10 FRANCE 1:11.057
11 NETHERLANDS 1:11.091
12 CHINA 1:11.152
13 MALAYSIA 1:11.169
14 IRELAND 1:11.269
15 ITALY 1:11.386
16 CANADA 1:11.398
17 AUSTRALIA 1:11.535
18 CZECH REPUBLIC 1:11.828
19 LEBANON 1:11.880
20 INDONESIA 1:12.103
21 MEXICO 1:12.638

A1GP Test Silverstone 28-29 August 2007, Overall combined classification

1 GERMANY 1:10.005
2 GREAT BRITIAN 1:10.252
3 SWITZERLAND 1:10.311
4 SOUTH AFRICA 1:10.484
5 FRANCE 1:10.531
6 NEW ZEALAND 1:10.618
7 IRELAND 1:10.667
8 PORTUGAL 1:10.762
9 BRAZIL 1:10.817
10 INDIA 1:10.882
11 PAKISTAN 1:10.958
12 USA 1:11.047
13 NETHERLANDS 1:11.069
14 CHINA 1:11.152
15 MALAYSIA 1:11.169
16 ITALY 1:11.386
17 CANADA 1:11.398
18 AUSTRALIA 1:11.535
19 CZECH REPUBLIC 1:11.828
20 LEBANON 1:11.880
21 INDONESIA 1:12.020
22 MEXICO 1:12.638

Reporting A1GP.com

Christian Vietoris showed that Team Germany are still the one to beat.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Robbie Kerr and Oliver Jarvis (seen here) where on the pace for Team Great Britain.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Sebastien Buemi (Team Switzerland) was third quickest.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Adrian Zaugg (Team South Africa) continued his good form from last season.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Nicolas Prost shared driving duties in the Team France car.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Brendon Hartley was a new face for Team New Zealand.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Team Ireland were running Ralph Firman (pictured) and Adam Carroll.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Joao Urbano in the Team Portugal car.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Sergio Jiminez was one of the drivers for Team Brazil.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Team India were showing off their new colour scheme.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Adam Khan was back for Team Pakistan.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Jonathon Summerton (Team USA).
(Picture A1GP.com)
Team Czech Republic have also changed their colour scheme for this season.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Marchy Lee Ying-Kin had his first run for Team China.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Ian Dyk (Team Australia).
(Picture A1GP.com)
James Hinchcliffe (Team Canada).
(Picture A1GP.com)
Satrio Hermanto (Team Indonesia) is another new face to A1GP.
(Picture A1GP.com)