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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Teams active during "break"

It’s called the summer break, and for the support staff which makes F1 work, it is, but that doesn’t mean teams aren’t finding ways to keep active during the break.

Taking advantage of the rules which allow limited running not in excess of 50kms, Renault, Force India and McLaren have all been in action.

SpeedTV.com, quoting the Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard, said Renault has been testing a new braking system at Kemble Airport with two of its cars.

Force India and McLaren were making a racket at the airport last week, as well, enough to spark complaints from local residents.

“I have written to the airfield letting them know how many complaints we got this week and last week," the newspaper quoted environmental health officer Ray Brassington, SpeedTV.com reports.

A1, Superleague gearing up

While F1 is on break, other open-wheel series are gearing up for a new season, with the new Superleague Formula heading to Donington Park for what the series is calling the first of two “pre-season friendlies.”

For those of you fresh to this thing all that footy lingo is because the formula teams are sponsored by football clubs. Yep, “The Beautiful Race - Football at 300km/h,” they call it.

The season kicks off at Donington August 30. Teams have a chance to test on the 21st and 28th their V12-powered machines in preparation.

A three-day test at Vallelunga in Italy last week saw the Galatasaray (Turkey) team on top with Alesandro Pier Guidi at the wheel.

After the Donington Park opener, the series visits the Nurburgring, Zolder, Estoril, Vallelunga and Jerez, wrapping up in November.

AC Milan, Al-Ain FC, Anderlecht, AS Roma, Beijing Guoan FC, Borussia, Dortmund, Corinthians, FC Basel, FC Porto, Flamengo, Olympiacos, PSV Eindhoven, Rangers FC, Sevilla FC, and Tottenham Hotspur join Galatasaray on the grid.

Meanwhile, A1GP, the “World Cup of Motorsport,” is also getting ready for a new season, with things set to kick off in about 40 days at Mugello, Italy.

The big news, of course, is the series is now “Powered by Ferrari,” with a new car based on the successful F2004.

But there are new rules in store, as well. This year there will be a mandatory pit stop in the sprint race.

“We never stop looking for ways of improving the action on the track,” explained A1GP chairman Tony Teixeira. “The two pit stops in the Feature Race have proved to be the really high pressure points of the events. We felt an additional one would not only add another variable into the Sprint Race mix, but also give the crews another opportunity to display their team work.”

The series has also tweaked the qualifying format, reducing the qualifying sessions to 10 minutes from 15 in an attempt to turn up the tension. Minor changes have been made to the practice sessions and the Sprint Race has been extended to 24 minutes, but will now only reward points to the top eight. The Feature Race still rewards the top 10.

Teams will wold a pre-season testing session at the increasingly busy Donington Park on the 9th and 11th September.

Italy, Netherlands, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, New Zealand, South Africa, Mexico, Portugal and the UK are on the schedule this year. Don't miss the top stories of the day, subscribe to the SpeedRead Web newspaper now! -- Email SpeedRead -- Learn more about author C.D. Six

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