Team GBR will head for Zhuhai next weekend hoping for better luck in A1GP’s China race than they suffered during the last round in Malaysia.
Oliver Jarvis will again be behind the wheel for the British outfit, which saw promising performances at Sepang dogged by every sort of problem from erratic German driving to post-race stewards’ penalties.
Team principal Katie Clements, writing in her entertaining Guardian column, recalls: “As if a drive-through penalty, a sticking wheel nut during the second pit-stop, and Neel Jani having the Midas touch weren’t bad enough, we were also hit by Germany which cost us valuable positions – though I do
n’t* think they were being indiscriminate since the Germans also hit three other teams.
“Then to top it off, just when the team were getting over the shock of putting in all that hard work for a single point in the feature race, we were given a two-second penalty for a pit-lane infringement and lost the point.”
In the team’s official preview for Zhuhai, she added: “After our disappointing result in Malaysia two weeks ago, which didn’t do justice to Olly’s pace and ability throughout the weekend, we’re looking forward to getting back on the podium where we belong.”
Jarvis, unsurprisingly, agreed: “I’m really happy to be back in the British car again after a difficult weekend in Malaysia. We didn’t get the results we deserved at Sepang, but we were definitely quick, so we’re going to Zhuhai feeling confident.
“I’m looking forward to driving a new track, which will be new to the majority of drivers, so it will be extremely important to make the most of the practice sessions on Friday and Saturday, and will be interesting to see which teams learn the track the quickest.”
The team also announced it had drafted 2002 Formula Renault UK champion Danny Watts as rookie driver for the race weekend. Watts has experience in the Far Eastern motorsport world, having served as a Japanese Formula 3 Championship development driver and competed in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia – crossing the line first in last month’s Macau season finale but losing the win because of a time penalty.
Watts, who has previously coached A1GP’s Team Indonesia, said: “It’s a privilege to be asked to drive for A1 Team GBR in Zhuhai.
“I will be contributing one hundred per cent to the team both in and out of the car throughout the weekend in order for us to have the best opportunity to achieve two strong results, and hopefully a couple of wins to boost us up the championship table.
“I obviously want to be quickest in the rookie session, but I also intend to make sure the car is prepared with the best set-up possible in order for Olly to get in and win.”
Clements added: “Danny is a committed driver and team-player, so his contribution in the rookie session and throughout the weekend will be invaluable, particularly given that Zhuhai will be a new circuit for many teams.”
* We have edited this quote slightly as it’s too good not to use, but makes no sense as originally published.