Salvador Duran has given the all-new Team Mexico an encouraging start to the new A1GP season by putting his car firmly in the upper echelons of the grid for both the sprint and feature races at Zandvoort.

The 22-year-old will begin the morning sprint outing an excellent third, and the afternoon's longer feature event from eighth after shining in the tricky wet conditions of qualifying. Indeed, Duran even held the top spot outright on several occasions, being pipped only narrowly by the French entry in the dying moments of Q1.

"In the last qualifying session the track was almost dry and because of that we could not do better," the reigning Daytona 24 Hours winner explained afterwards. "The feature race has two pit-stops, though, so the starting position is not as important as in the sprint.

"In the feature race it is more important to have a good strategy. Therefore, we are thinking about which strategy to use - depending on the weather conditions, because they are changing a lot. We are also going to make further adjustments because the car has a lot of understeer."

Team Mexico executive vice-president Julio Jauregui was equally enthusiastic about the squad's performance, and determined to maintain the country's positive start to proceedings after similarly strong early form last year dramatically tailed off as the season progressed.

"They did a good job in their first event," Jauregui asserted, "especially as this is the first time the team has worked on this car. Salvador helped a lot with his experience, because he knows the performance of the car and that helped the team to improve the set-up as quickly as possible.

"I think we have a good future, because they are finding all the secrets the A1GP car has. We are taking our time and we need to collect points during this round, but in the short term I think we will become the team to beat.

"If it rains for the races, we can be contenders to clinch victory with a good set-up. The problem is that we have not yet tested under dry conditions, but we are going to overcome that situation. Everybody is surprised by our performance, because they did not expect that in the first event with a new team we could be competitive."

 

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