A1 Team Great Britain's Oliver Jarvis made a promising start in practice at the challenging Durban street circuit in South Africa on Friday and finished proceedings with the third fastest time.

Due to the nature of the circuit, the team took the decision not to bring a new rookie driver and to forgo the rookie practice sessions. Therefore, the first time the team took to the track was for the afternoon session.

Jarvis has not driven the A1 car since the Zhuhai, China races in December, and is also working with a new race engineer this weekend as Richard Owen stands in for the injured James Goodfield.

Jarvis did have the benefit of having driven in the rookie session last season though so he had some track knowledge ahead of the session. The objective of the day was for Oliver to get comfortable with the car and the circuit, and to work on getting a good balance for qualifying, as well as working on race set-up.

The 24-year-old made steady progress in his opening laps and then jumped into the top five half way through the session. On his 20th lap, 13 minutes before the end of the session he set a time of 1 minute 19.207 seconds, putting him third fastest and just four tenths behind session leaders Team Netherlands.

"I think it was a very productive session. We were steady at the start and made good progress throughout to finish P3," he reflected. "It's obviously not exactly where we wanted to be, but we've got Germany in front who did the rookie session, and the Netherlands who raced here last year. So if we can keep progressing at the rate we are then I'm sure we'll be in good shape for qualifying."

"We are very pleased with our practice position today," added team boss, Katie Clement, "especially considering it has been two months since Oliver last drove the car.

"In addition to that we did not have the benefit of the rookie practice session, and we have a new race engineer for this event due to James' injury. It all bodes well for tomorrow and we are confident ahead of qualifying."

 

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