Early test for A1GP racer

The new ’Powered by Ferrari’ A1GP racer has hit the track less than five months after work started on the design.

The second-generation A1GP one-make car, which is powered by a Ferrari V8 based on the 430 GT engine, ran for the first time at Fiorano on May 25. That was just 135 days after the design was started by new A1GP technical director John Travis and his team in Sussex at the beginning of January.

This ensured that series bosses hit their target of having a car which is styled after the Ferrari F2004 Formula 1 chassis out in May. A month of intensive testing was scheduled before the national teams receive their cars in time for the first group test at Silverstone in the middle of August.

Initial testing of the new car was undertaken by Ferrari-contracted Andrea Bertolini, who races for sister marque Maserati in the FIA GT Championship. He completed five days and approximately 400 miles of running at Ferrari’s test track over a two-week period.

A1GP operations director John Wickham described the initial runs as a success.

“We had some software glitches early on, so there was quite a bit of downtime,” he said. “We got more and more running as we sorted them, and it seems that the chassis is really good.”

The test programme moved on to Imola in early June (above), again with Bertolini driving. Ferrari F1 tester Marc Gené was due to drive in tests at Guadix and Jerez in Spain.

The first tests have been undertaken on Michelin tyres as opposed to the Cooper-badged Avons used on the original Lola-Zytek. An announcement that the series will switch to the French company can be regarded as a formality.