James Winslow underlined his versatility by posting top three times on only his second outing with Team GBR in the A1 Grand Prix series on Friday.

Making the most of running on familiar ground at Eastern Creek, where he raced last season in the national F3 championship, and showing that he is a quick learner after just one previous run in the A1GP car, Winslow starred in both 25-minute rookie sessions.

The reigning Formula Renault V6 Asia champion ran at the front of the 22-car pack in early damp conditions - his first outing on a wet track with the A1GP Lola - until the team opted not to respond to the drying surface, leaving the 26-year old on wet weather tyres and limiting his laps due to a radio problem. With the track dry for the second outing, Winslow held top spot for 20 minutes, before being pipped by two drivers with even greater track experience. He continued to push, however, and posted his fastest lap - good enough for third overall - on the last of his 20 laps.

As he had in New Zealand two weeks ago, Winslow's performance left a strong impression on the team, which went on to use the data gathered in the early sessions to post another third position with race driver Robbie Kerr in afternoon practice.

"It was great to get the chance to show what I could do in the A1GP car," Winslow admitted, "The fact that I knew Eastern Creek from last year, and was a little more familiar with the car, meant that I could push harder earlier in the session, and I felt quite comfortable in both the wet and the dry.

"Obviously, I would have liked to have finished at the top of the timesheets, especially as we were there for so long in the second session, but I can be happy with P3. The team seems to be pleased with both the work we did and the pace I showed and, hopefully, Robbie will have a good car for the races on Sunday."

While Winslow waits to here whether he will get another chance to try the A1GP car at the next round of the championship, in South Africa, on 22 February, he will turn his attention to the rest of the Eastern Creek weekend, where he makes a one-off return to F3 at the wheel of an Opes Prime Team BRM Dallara. Opening practice suggests he will again be on the pace, having set the fastest time in wet practice by 0.6secs - immediately before jumping into the vastly more powerful A1GP car.

"I've really enjoyed being back in the A1GP car this weekend, and would jump at the chance to drive it again at the next round, especially as the Durban race runs on a street circuit, which will be a very different challenge with 550hp under your right foot," he smiled.

 

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