The A1 Grand Prix car set another milestone last week, as it broke the official lap record for the Dubai Autodrome by no less than five seconds as it was put through its paces during two days of intense testing.

The impressive time was set during 700 kilometres of running on Wednesday and Thursday [26-72 January] with test driver Robbie Kerr at the wheel, and the Briton admitted to be amazed at the performance.

"I was very impressed at the time I was able to set on what was a very dirty track," he declared afterwards, "The car just got quicker and quicker, and the engine is very crisp and clean. We still have some fine tuning to do on the car, but there are very few things that need changing. From the way it handles, I am certain we should have some very close racing."

The test was thrown open to the public in an effort to raise money for tsunami relief charities, and A1GP series founder Sheikh Maktoum, admitted that the response to the initiative pleased him as much as the performance of the car.

"I am delighted that the Dubai people have embraced A1 Grand Prix and were able to help us raise money for the tsunami victims," he said, "We feel we have a social and moral obligation to do this."

Asked about Kerr's time in testing, the Skeikh preferred to explain that the two days in Dubai were being used more to ensure that the package would be reliable when it came to the start of competition in September.

"We are dedicated to producing a solid racing car, and the work completed over these two days is ensuring we do this," he added, "The test in Dubai was part of an ongoing schedule that means that, when we hand over the cars to the seat-holders, we will have ironed out any technical gremlins.

"We have done about 5000 kilometres in testing to date, and will continue this programme on behalf of the seat-holders so that, when they take delivery of the cars, they will be the highest possible spec."

The latest test was run under the watchful eye of global operations manager John Wickham, who was able to provide further details of the exacting programme being undertaken.

"At the beginning of the test, we started out on a dirty track, with very little grip," he revealed, "We gradually worked our way through a very comprehensive programme and, on the final afternoon, we ran a race simulation with the car out on the track for about an hour, during which Robbie made one pit-stop. We received excellent feedback from Robbie and he was setting very consistent times."

 

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