Gene impressed by new A1GP car

Ferrari test driver Marc Gene was impressed by the new A1GP car after sampling it during testing in Spain last week

Gene impressed by new A1GP car

He believes the car, which is based around Ferrari's F2004 Formula One chassis and powered by a 600bhp V8 Ferrari engine, will suit the series' desire to produce action-packed racing as well as significantly improved lap times.

"It's an interesting car and I had a lot of fun," he said. "It's not an F1 car, but it's not intended to be one. It will produce exciting racing, allows overtaking, and is an extreme drive."

A1GP's main test driver Andrea Bertolini and another ex-F1 driver, Patrick Friesacher, have carried out the rest of the development work on the new car with five days at Guadix and three days at Jerez in the last two weeks.

The car has now covered half a season's worth of mileage and A1GP general manager John Wickham has been satisfied by its performance so far.

"The car has now completed about 3500km of testing and is looking reliable," he said. "We have spent the majority of time working on the engine and control systems, but there's also been work on the tyres and chassis, so there has been no down time.

"There have been a number of small issues, which are to be expected from a completely new package, but there is nothing we can't resolve in the coming tests so we are happy with how things are progressing."

The car will continue its testing programme at Jerez in a fortnight before moving on to test in France later this month. The teams are expected to test the car for the first time at Silverstone in August ahead of the first race of the season at Mugello on September 21.

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