Friday, October 7, 2005


By James Neilson

The A1GP circus has arrived at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz hot on the heels of their highly successful inaugural race to try and tame the 4.53 km road course which uses a part of the banking from the oval that was the site of Alex Zanardi's horrific Champcar crash where he lost both his legs.

The teams practised Friday in what will be a season of first’s as this fledgling series attempts to get off the ground. Last week was their first race and visit to the Brands Hatch circuit in England. This week marks their first visit to the EuroSpeedway Lausitz in Germany.

The European squads dominated Friday’s practise sessions with Great Britain’s Robbie Kerr, a former British F3 title protagonist, setting the fastest time in the first session. France’s Nicolas Lapierre, a Team Arden GP2 pilot, set the quickest time in the second practise session.

Rounding out the top 5 in the first session was Lapierre in second, Brazil’s Nelson Piquet Jr. who currently races in GP2 with Lapierre in third, Germany’s Timo Scheider who has raced in the DTM in fourth and Switzerland’s Neel Jani who also races in GP2 with Lapierre and Nelsinho.

Ex-Jordan F1 pilot and Irishman Ralph Firman was free of his commitments in both Formula Nippon and Super GT in Japan and set the second fastest time of the second practise session. Rounding out the top five was Germany’s Scheider in third, Ex-F1 pilot Jos Verstappen in fourth for Team Holland and Indonesia’s Ananda Mikola who races in the Asian Formula 3 Series.

Canada’s representative, Formula Renault UK frontrunner Sean Macintosh, had a steady run in both practise sessions setting the tenth and eleventh quickest times respectively.

Results – Session 1:
1. Great Britain (Robbie Kerr / 1.34.675); 2. France (Nicholas Lapierre / 1.34.698); 3. Brazil (Nelson Piquet Jr / 1.34.784); 4. Germany (Timo Scheider / 1.35.043); 5. Switzerland (Neel Jani / 1.35.063); 6. Indonesia (Ananda Mikola / 1.35.125); 7. Netherlands (Jos Verstappen / 1.35.155); 8. Czech Republic (Tomas Enge / 1.35.321); 9. Italy (Enrico Toccacelo / 1.35.543); 10. Canada (Sean McIntosh / 1.35.614); 11. USA (Scott Speed / 1.35.631); 12. Ireland (Ralph Firman / 1.35.795)

Session 2:
1. France (Nicolas Lapierre / 1.34.150); 2. Ireland (Ralph Firman / 1.34.525); 3. Germany (Timo Scheider / 1.34.722); 4. Netherlands (Jos Verstappen / 1.34.783); 5. Indonesia (Ananda Mikola / 1.34.788); 6. Great Britain (Robbie Kerr / 1.34.800); 7. Switzerland (Neel Jani / 1.34.864); 8. USA (Scott Speed / 1.34.932); 9. Brazil (Nelson Piquet Jr / 1.34.988); 10. Italy (Enrico Toccacelo / 1.35.047); 11. Canada (Sean McIntosh / 1.35.054); 12. Czech (Republic Tomas Enge / 1.35.375)

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