As the first fifteen cars for the A1GP 'World Cup of Motorsport' hit the track at Silverstone national rivalries began to emerge as teams and drivers tested their cars for the first head-to-head test. The British launched the opening salvo by topping the times on Wednesday, but Brazil is ready to fight back.

A1 Team Great Britain put driver Robbie Kerr out on the Silverstone National circuit opting to keep Kerr in the car whilst team-mate Alex Lloyd watched on, whereas Brazil had both Nelson Piquet Jr and Danilo Dirani in their car on Wednesday.

Piquet's time proved to be the one to beat at the track as fifteen cars and nations competed but late in the day Kerr went out on fresh rubber and upped the ante to set a 48.888second lap.

Co-seat holder for Brazil with footballer Ronaldo, Emerson Fittipaldi watched proceedings with a seasoned eye and issued a well-natured warning to the British team as fronted by fellow Formula One world champion, John Surtees.

"Having Nelson Piquet Jr drive for me today was nostalgic, and was a great feeling and he did a fantastic job, the first day in the car and he was second fastest; we were behind Great Britain but tomorrow we're going to beat Great Britain," Fittipaldi told Crash.net Radio at the track.

The Brazilian racing legend can look back on two Formula One world championship titles and a fine open wheel race history in the States. "I'm very excited to be involved, it's going to be a great show and there's a lot of enthusiasm," says Emmo of his new role heading up Team Brazil. "I think the racing will be wheel to wheel with a lot of overtaking, and a lot of sideways action and it's going to be an extremely competitive category."

Driver selection is obviously a hot topic for all the national seats on offer, and Brazil is a country which has a lot of good drivers to choose from. "We've got thousands of drivers," Fittipaldi said with a glint in his eye. "Even the taxi drivers in Brazil call us! Nelson was very impressive today, we are looking at Tony Kanaan, and Dirani also did a very good job today, but he doesn't have a lot of experience, tomorrow we are testing Joao Paulo Oliveiria who is leading the Formula Three championship in Japan."

Before the A1GP season start at Brands Hatch in September, there is also another test, this time taking place in France. "At Paul Ricard I want to try Tony Kanaan and Carrapatoso who was the Brazilian go-kart world champion," says Fittipaldi.

So who will ultimately get the drive. One driver, or more?
"The concept is we want to bring young drivers to show their talents and in A1 GP they will be able to show their talents," says Fittipaldi. "We are going to have two reserve drivers all the time, young drivers that at any time we are going to give a chance to them to get experience and show their talent."

 

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