a1 ace raring to go

Bruce Fraser

Bruce Fraser

Despite a disastrous race in Durban last year, South Africa's A1 motor racing driver Adrian Zaugg is confident of doing well this time around.

Coming in to the first bend of last year's race, Zaugg, 21, found himself sandwiched between two opposition vehicles with no alternative but to hit the tyre wall and abandon all plans of winning the race.

Come Sunday on the Marine Parade, Durban, it will be an altogether different Zaugg who at a press conference yesterday at Kyalami Racetrack, north of Johannesburg, displayed a great deal of maturity and confidence.

"What happened last year is in the past," said Zaugg.

Picking up a win at a very wet Eastern Creek, Australia, two weeks ago, Zaugg dismissed suggestions he was hoping for rain on Sunday.

"To be a top driver you need to adapt to whatever conditions you find on the day."

Zaugg's team has undergone a few personnel changes this season, which seems to be paying off. Communication issues have apparently been sorted out and members of the management and technical crews are said to be working as a unit.

The South African leg of the A1 circuit has proved to be very popular with many comparing the layout of the track - which is basically around Durban's waterfront - to the more illustrious Formula One circuit in Monaco.

This is the third year the coastal city has hosted the event and negotiations will begin shortly as to whether it will remain in the province.

Other cities vying for the privilege of hosting the event include Cape Town and Johannesburg.

South Africa lies fourth on the log of 22 nations, which is headed by New Zealand, followed by France and Switzerland.

Heats for Sunday's main event begin on Friday. The main race will be shown live on SABC at 3pm on Sunday.