Newly-crowned European Formula Master champion, Chris van der Drift, steps into the Team New Zealand A1GP car for this weekend’s second round of the 2008/2009 series in Chengdu, China
Earl Bamber drove Team New Zealand’s Black Beauty in the opening round at Zandvoort, Holland, and put it into third place in the points standings.
Hamiltonian van der Drift, who races out of Holland, tested the Powered by Ferrari A1GP car in September, but there was a clash of dates between his Formula Master commitments and the Zandvoort A1GP round.
Since winning the Formula Master title, van der Drift has tested and raced a GP2 open wheeler in Shanghai, China. GP2 cars are similar in size to the A1GP racer.
The GP2 race included a compulsory pitstop which has better prepared the Kiwi for the A1GP races whose pitstops play a crucial role in race strategy.
Bamber has run some laps on the Chengdu track in a Formula V6 Asia racer, and will be on hand to offer van der Drift some insights. He says the track is “a great challenge with elevation changes and blind brows” and is especially difficult should it rain.
A1GP qualifying is on Saturday afternoon with the Sprint and Features races on Sunday.