A1 Team Malaysia driver Fairuz Fauzy says he isn't concerned by the fact he hasn't raced at the Taupo circuit before as the A1GP series heads to New Zealand to start the second part of the season.
Fauzy carried out practice duties at the circuit back in 2007 but will now take on racing responsibilities as the Malaysian team looks to bounce back from the disappointment suffered on home soil last time out at Sepang.
There, Fauzy looked set to secure a popular podium finish before a radio glitch meant he came into the pits when he hadn't been called by the team, but he will now hope to get back to top form at a circuit he is keen to experience in a racing environment.
“I've only driven this track on a Friday morning practice session in 2007, so I don't have any race experience here,” he said. “When you drive on a circuit but don't actually get the chance to race you always want to go back and do this, so I'm pleased to be representing Malaysia there for the A1GP event.
“It doesn't worry me that I haven't raced, as I will have the practice sessions to reacquaint myself with the layout and characteristics of it. Of course I'll be in the same position as everyone on the grid as none of us have driven the new car here.
“My memories of the country are very good – clear blue skies, sunny, not too warm and very beautiful, so I'm looking forward to returning there.”
Aaron Lim will take on rookie duties for the weekend, having done similar last season, but he said the Taupo circuit would provide a new challenge in the new Powered by Ferrari car.
“I drove in the Friday session last year, so my experience is a little more recent than Fairuz's!” he said. “I found it quite a difficult track to learn as there were so many corners in a short lap. I think it'll be a better track to drive in the new car, although it'll be a test of braking distances for me. The carbon brakes are excellent, so the aim will be to be as smooth as possible. It's quite a narrow track, so if you make a small mistake you're off the track before you know it or spinning round, not that I'm aiming to experience either of these problems.
“Taupo is a great location for the A1GP series. I think we're the only top level international racing championship that reaches the heart of New Zealand, but the fans are very knowledgeable and are very enthusiastic. I'm really looking forward to going back there.”