A1 Team USA chiefs are facing problems of a good kind heading into the 2007/08 season of A1GP World Cup of Motorsport - with a dilemma over which driver to put in the car after a solid test at Silverstone last week.

Jonathan Summerton, who was capped eight times for the team last season, produced the fastest time for the squad during the two-day test with a 1min 11.047secs lap - but his pace was all but matched by Buddy Rice on day two when lap times were slower, the pair split by just 0.007secs.

It now leaves the question though over who will get the nod for the season opener at Zandvoort...

"What I took away from the test is that we put two drivers in the car and learned from both of them," seat holder Rick Weidinger reflected. "It was an overall good test for us. They ran almost identical laps in the same conditions and had top-ten times on different days.

"We have two very good drivers. I'm pleased with how everything has gone. We have to make a decision on which driver to put in the car to start the season. We can't make a bad choice and that is going to make it a very difficult decision."

Rice showed his commitment to race in A1GP by flying to last week's test in the middle of back-to-back IndyCar races in the United States and he admitted that he would love the chance to compete in A1GP once the IndyCar Series season draws to a close.

"I'd really like to get the chance to race for the USA," he said. "With the IRL finishing next week, this will give me something to do all winter long so I'm looking forward to that. We'll just see what happens but I'm glad to be back here but I'm definitely keen to do some racing."

However Rice did admit that the A1GP machine had one thing he isn't quite used to...

"I'm not used to a paddle-shift gearbox, so I still keep trying to leave the pits by reaching to my right side and trying to find a gear lever!" he said. "The car is a little bit more like a racing kart and it likes to be thrown around a bit more. You have to be aggressive but you have to know how far to push it."

Unlike Rice, Summerton has done little racing in the A1GP off-season and was just pleased with his performance having been sat on the sidelines for nearly four months.

"I'm happy to be back in the car," he said. "My fastest time was pretty good considering I was just getting used to a new track and the car again. I've never been to Silverstone and when you've been out of the car for a few months, it still takes a little time to get used to it again."

Who will drive for the team in the season opener at Zandvoort is expected to be revealed following the second Silverstone test on 18-19 September.

 

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