Danny Watts will look to secure as many points as possible at Chengdu as A1 Team GB makes its first appearance of the 2008/09 season this weekend in China.
The team was forced to miss Zandvoort due to build delays with the new Powered by Ferrari car and will now seek to make up for lost time as A1 heads to the Chengdu circuit for the first time.
Watts has previous experience of the new car having been called up by A1GP to test the car as part of its development programme and will aim to make the most of the previous circuit knowledge of rookie driver James Winslow – who has raced at the circuit during his time in Asia.
“We will be playing catch up this weekend after missing out on Zandvoort and official test sessions,” Watts said. “Compared to last year the whole package is a big step up in terms of aerodynamics, braking, power and balance – it's a proper thoroughbred racing car. It has much better downforce and the new carbon brakes are hugely impressive, you can brake so late now.
“I haven't driven at Chengdu before but I have done as much homework as I can and as soon as I get there I'll be doing track walks with the engineer and talking to James Winslow, who has raced there before. The hard work is going to start in practice and we will need to get on top of the new car quickly and find a good set-up. Everyone in the team is quality and I'm sure we will get it dialled in quickly.”
Team principal Katie Clements admitted that points will be vital from the second weekend of the season, even though the introduction of dropped scores should minimise any losses for the team after missing the opening round.
“It is crucial for us to get some good points on the board this weekend,” she said. “I am sure with Danny and the team's experience and talent we will be able to achieve that aim. Chengdu is a new challenge for everyone but I am sure that we will be able to get up to speed quickly, despite missing out on Zandvoort. I am delighted to finally be back in action and I look forward to an exciting weekend.”