James Winslow made the most of previous circuit knowledge to give Team GBR a flying start to its Eastern Creek A1 Grand Prix weekend, posting the third fastest time across the two rookie sessions before handing over to regular race pilot Robbie Kerr.

When Kerr then repeated the result in the afternoon's free practice session, Team GBR ended day one in positive mood, convinced that it would be able to banish its Taupo blues in round six of the season.

Fresh from finishing at the top of the timesheets in the morning's Australian F3 practice, Winslow jumped straight into the vastly more powerful A1GP Lola and appeared on course to replicate his performance in the damp opening practice. Towards the end of the first 25-minute segment, as the track began to dry out, the team opted to remain on wet tyres and Winslow only ran limited laps due to radio problems, a combination that dropped him back from a frontrunning position.

However, with a dry track at his disposal for the second segment, the Briton made full use of his previous Eastern Creek experience - gleaned from last year's Australian F3 campaign - to run at the top of the leaderboard on new slick tyres and only losing out to the home team's John Martin and Australian-domiciled Lebanese driver Chris Alajajian in the closing minutes, despite setting his fastest time on the last of his 20 laps.

"I really enjoyed getting back into the A1GP car again," Winslow said of his second outing with Team GBR, "Compared to the F3 car, it has a lot more power and grip so the lines change and it's a different driving style.

"Obviously I would have liked to have finished in P1, where we were to begin with, but I'm happy with P3. It's again been an honour to drive for GBR, and I'm pleased to have done my bit for the team to hopefully give Robbie a good car on Sunday."

Kerr took over for the afternoon sessions and, making his third visit to the Australian track, was immediately on the pace. With the weather remaining dry, and the team able to work through its planned programme, he built on Winslow's performance to finish the session third fastest, just three-tenths of a second behind leaders France.

"We were competitive throughout the session and happy with where we're at with the car," Kerr commented, "We tried lots of different set-ups and could immediately feel the differences, whether the changes were negative or positive, so we have a good idea of what we need to achieve tomorrow. Obviously, we have to see what happens in practice tomorrow morning but, at the moment, we're fairly confident going into qualifying."

"We've been very happy with both James and Robbie's performances today, and the team has been on the pace, setting competitive lap times in both practice sessions," team principal Katie Clements concluded, "After such a good start and our previous form at Eastern Creek, we're pretty confident for tomorrow and looking forward to a strong qualifying performance."

 

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