A1 Moves to Solve Wheel Problems

A1 Grand Prix will introduce a modification to the wheel-hub to eradicate problems of sticking wheels during pitstops in time for this weekend's Estoril race, Autosport-Atlas can reveal

Several teams including Brazil, Germany and Switzerland have had their races effectively ruined by struggling to change wheels in the opening two rounds of the championship at Brands Hatch and EuroSpeedway, Lausitz.

It had been feared that nothing could be done in time for this weekend's Estoril round, however, chassis manufacturer Lola have responded by supplying 100 sets of redesigned wheel nuts, aimed at making the pitstops easier by eliminating the cross-threading that has led to the delays.

A1 Grand Prix's technical and operations manager John Wickham told Autosport-Atlas: "We have introduced a new design of wheel nut with an extended lead-in. The teams will have to modify their stub axle but it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

"There was essentially nothing wrong with the original design, however teams, were being too quick and like any nut it could cross-thread."

The previous design was based around Lola's Formula 3000-based hubs that were not originally designed for pitstops and only had a single lead-in thread. If the nut was not carefully aligned it could become easily snagged.

"We're confident that problems in pitstops will be a thing of the past," added Wickham. "There was nothing essentially wrong with the last design, but this should make it easier."

The battery problems that have led to some cars being stranded on the grid at both meetings this season should also be eradicated this weekend.

Autosport-Atlas understands that the problems is caused by teams not using the exact specification batteries recommend by A1 GP which can cause vibrations and shakes the connections loose.

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