TeaM sa ready for takeoff

Sowetan Reporter

Sowetan Reporter

With three A1GP race wins under his belt, A1 Team SA driver Adrian Zaugg is confident ahead of this weekend's race.

Zaugg won the season-opening sprint race in the Netherlands in 2006 and 2007 and the feature race in Australia last year.

A1 Team South Africa will be in Malaysia this weekend to join the 20-plus nations contesting the third round of the 2008/09 season of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport at the ultra-modern Sepang International Circuit, 60km south of Kuala Lumpur.

South Africa comes off a fifth place in the sprint race in the previous round two weeks ago in Chengdu, China, and ninth in the feature race in which a piece of plastic debris attached itself to Vulindlela's front wing and affected the car's handling before it could be removed in one of the two scheduled pit stops.

According Team SA general manager Mike Caroll, Zaugg and his car Vulindlela have proved to be one of the quickest combinations in practice.

Caroll is optimistic about this weekend's race, given the track it is taking place on.

"Sepang provides us with a new opportunity to get back to the front and the team will be using all its combined skills and knowledge to ensure that we are competitive this weekend.

"We need more points on the board if we are to challenge for a top-five finish to the season," said Caroll.

Vulindlela fans can expect to see the full potential of the new Ferrari-engined car.

Sepang International Circuit is a clockwise 5,54km circuit featuring 15 turns and eight straights and is located 60km south of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Designed by German Herman Tilke, it is widely regarded as a benchmark for grand prix venues, its architecture blending modern technology with Malaysian culture.

Saturday's qualifying rounds will be broadcast live on SABC3 from 8pm to 10pm and Sunday's feature races from 8pm to 10.30pm.