The Dutch A1GP squad is aiming to kick-start its campaign in style at its home circuit of Zandvoort next month, with high hopes for a strong season ahead.

The team proved consistently quick throughout the two-day Silverstone test at the end of August, regularly running at or near the top of the timesheets. Lead driver Jos Verstappen believes this bodes well for a successful second year in the category, after the team finished eighth in 2005-06 with one win.

"We did a lot to improve the car compared to last year," the ex-Formula One star said following the test. "I have a very good feeling about it. I really think we have got a better balance in the car, on this circuit anyway. Hopefully this will be the same on the other circuits as well.

"I was in the car at Silverstone after about four months away from it, but of course you know where all the buttons are and what you have to do, so I quickly got used to it again. I am very pleased - it all went very smoothly. We were able to do a lot and are definitely heading in the right direction."

Speaking to Crash.net during the test, the former Benetton and Arrows ace said he was pleased to be starting the season on home turf, and predicted a close scrap in the offing.

"The first race is in our own country so it will be very busy," he said, "but I'm really looking forward to it.

"We had some good times last year and some times which weren't so good, but overall it was very exciting and that's what motorsport should be. A1GP is competitive, it's close and it's what people want to see. This year will be even tougher than last but that's how it should be."

"The car ran well with no reliability problems," added new team manager David Stubbs, formerly of Williams Grand Prix and Red Bull Racing. "We progressed through some reasonable set up changes and Jos was pretty happy with the car. The important thing was he was also consistently quick towards the end of the day.

"The way that the guys seem to gel together in this team is very good, which is very important with a small team. All works well from the engineers to everyone else."

 

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