Team Great Britain carried their strong form from the first A1GP campaign over into the series' pre-season Silverstone test, with lap times consistently near the top of the pile.

After Robbie Kerr's impressive performance on the first day of the test it was Darren Manning's turn to shine on day two, setting the quickest time of the afternoon session and second-fastest overall.

Speaking afterwards, Manning said: "What we were trying wasn't necessarily conducive to going for outright speed but we were still pretty fast. We've made a few changes to the car, not all that I personally liked, but that's sometimes just as good as finding things you do like. We should be able to pull the best bits from what we've learned and put together a good starting set-up for the first race at Zandvoort."

That race is now less than four weeks away, and though Kerr will be unable to take part due to clashing World Series by Renault commitments, the Leicestershire ace was nevertheless pleased with the progress the team had made at Silverstone.

"I had a good run in the car ," he said "We changed some things around which definitely improved it and I'm sure Darren will continue to work on the technical programme. We're up there on the timesheets again which is encouraging for the team heading to Holland."

Oliver Jarvis, who is set to drive the car during Friday practice for Team GB, was also present at the test. The British Formula 3 front-runner enjoyed his taste of A1 life and said he was looking forward to the challenge that lay ahead.

"I was out there again without the benefit of new tyres," he said, "but I continued to learn the car and make some changes to the overall balance.

"The important thing for me if I start off driving on the Friday at these races is to be able to benefit the race drivers with decent feedback. I need to be able to set the car up to their liking.

"At these tests it's always nice to get new tyres and bang in a quick lap time but for me it's been a valuable couple of days getting to know the team and hopefully put my name forward for the race seat should it become available."

Team principal Sir John Surtees believed the test augured well for the season ahead, when Britain will aim to improve on their third position gained in the championship in 2005-06.

"We covered a lot of ground," he said, "we studied very carefully the drivers' reactions to the car and what worked and what didn't. The important thing is that the nucleus of the new team worked very well under the usual pressure you associate with such tests so it all bodes well for the future."

 

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