A1 Team Netherlands secured a top six placing on the opening day of A1GP testing as Silverstone, with Jeroen Bleekemolen and Arie Luyendyk Jr both spending time at the wheel ahead of the new season.

Bleekemolen took most of the driving duties on the day and set his fastest lap in the afternoon, with 1min 11.069secs, around the 2.2 mile International Circuit.

The A1GP regular had completed a total of 39 laps in the morning before handing the car over to rookie team-mate Luyendyk - who had his first real outing with the A1 Team Netherlands car on a racetrack, after doing the demo run at Vudel Vol Gas.

"I am not driving that much here, but it is fun and I am quicker every lap out," he said. "My fastest lap was a 1min 14.1secs but that was using tyres we had used all morning. With new tyres you can be one and a half or even two seconds quicker, but I still am over a second off the pace. I had to get used to the paddle shift system and the grip and power of the car."

For Bleekemolen it was his A1GP test debut as well, as he only got the drive on the eve of the season opener last season, and he admitted that sixth on the times wasn't a true reflection of the pace the team had.

"We worked very well today and did manage to find quite a bit," he said "It was a very useful day. This did not show in the time sheets unfortunately. I had a red flag twice during my first timed lap on new tyres and that is exactly the one you have to capitalise on. In terms of position today was not so good, but on used tyres we were competitive constantly.

"We should have been inside the top three, both in the morning and in the afternoon sessions. For tomorrow we have discussed some things we want to try. We did not get a change to do this during the races, fortunately now we have got the time for this."

 

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