Speed Quickest at Paul Ricard

Scott Speed continued his week of being in the limelight by topping the test times for A1 Grand Prix's second official test session at Paul Ricard

Speed Quickest at Paul Ricard

The American is set to be announced as Red Bull Racing's official test driver for next season at the Italian Grand Prix and had also hit the headlines by criticising the format of the GP2 series he currently races in, saying that the reverse grid system for the second race was ridiculous.

Speed demonstrated his potential by topping the test on his first day in the 550bhp A1 GP car, lapping Paul Ricard in 1:24.559. The time was more than four tenths of a second faster that fellow GP2 rival Nelson Piquet Jr in the Brazilian car.

Team USA boss Rick Weidlinger said: "Anytime you finish a test, especially at Paul Ricard, in first position you have to be happy. Our test driver, Scott Speed has a rich heritage of racing results and today is another indication of his talent.

"The team did a wonderful job, they all pulled together, and that's a goal of ours, to be a team in the garage and on the track."

The French car, who had topped the times in the series' inaugural test at Silverstone, was third in the hands of another GP2 driver, Nicholas Lapierre.

Robbie Kerr, building on the knowledge he gained from being the only driver to have tested Great Britain's car, finished fourth. He will hand over to teammate and former McLaren Autosport award winner Alex Lloyd for the final two days of the test.

Yet again the cars showed strong reliability, with the only incident involving the New Zealand car in the hands of Jonny Reid, which ground to a halt on the pit straight and had to be recovered.

The test continues tomorrow, where all 20 cars will be involved in a rolling start rehearsal for television footage. One race each weekend will start from standing, the other will be rolling.

Today's times:

Pos Team Time Driver 1. USA 1.24.559 - Scott Speed 2. Brazil 1.24.973 - Nelson Piquet Jr 3. France 1.25.095 - Nicolas Lapiere 4. Great Britain 1.25.281 - Robbie Kerr 5. Mexico 1.25.296 - Salvador Duran 6. Portugal 1.25.377 - Alvaro Parente 7. New Zealand 1.25.536 - Jonny Reid 8. Ireland 1.25.687 - Ralph Firman 9. Australia 1.25.692 - Will Davison 10. Malaysia 1.25.717 - Alex Yoong 11. Netherlands 1.25.751 - Jos Verstappen 12. Pakistan 1.26.139 - Adam Khan 13. Switzerland 1.26.147 - Romain Grosjean 14. South Africa 1.26.177 - Thomas Scheckter 15. Germany 1.26.440 - Timo Scheider 16. Lebanon 1.26.477 - Basil Shaaban 17. India 1.27.978 - Karun Chandok 18. Indonesia 1.28.430 - Ananda Mikola 19. China 1.29.377 - Teng Jiang 20. Russia 1.32.760 - Nikolay Fomenko All Timing Unofficial 

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