Team Great Britain made a solid start to the A1GP weekend at Sepang after Danny Watts set the pace in practice at the Malaysian circuit.
Watts was quickest in the first of two rookie practice sessions during the morning and then posted the fastest time of the day during the afternoon session which saw the team's regular race drivers hit the track.
Having ended the morning third quickest once both rookie sessions were completed, Watts was able to hit the ground running in the afternoon and a stunning lap of 1min 50.038secs on his first flying lap proved to be the benchmark for the rest of the field to beat – with Swiss driver Neel Jani being the only one to get close.
“It felt good today and we're working hard for tomorrow now,” Watts said afterwards. “In the rookie session I always knew I would be there or thereabouts and this afternoon I expected the others to catch up. Looking at the times towards the end, the top ten are very, very close – there's hardly anything in it. I think it will be the same story tomorrow and it's going to be very tight at the top.
“Driving this car on this track is really amazing, with the aero, downforce and the braking – braking into the last corner is unbelievable. It's now my second weekend in the car and last week I was racing Porsche and GT cars at Macau, so it's a bit of a change. But I have learnt how to adapt quickly to new cars and I think that is showing in the results.”
Team principal Katie Clements said she was pleased with a solid start to the weekend and while she admitted there was work still to do, she said she was confident of a strong performance from Watts in qualifying.
“It's been another positive start to the weekend and, once again, the boys and Danny have quickly dialled into the track and worked hard to prepare in the best way possible for tomorrow,” she said. “We have some more work to do in tomorrow morning's practice and the times are close but, at this stage, are feeling very confident for qualifying.”