A1 Grand Prix: A1 Team Germany makes a high five !

– Words and pics: A1GP
Eastern Creek, Australia – A1 Team Germany has taken its fifth win of the 2006/07 season winning the A1GP Sydney, Australia Sprint race ahead of New Zealand and France, so when the team lines up on pole for the Feature race it will be its fourth consecutive A1GP start from this coveted position.A1 Team Germany made a clean start to the race, pulling ahead of second placed New Zealand who was immediately put under pressure by Great Britain. After the two cars touched wheels at turn three, New Zealand was forced to concede and the red, white and blue car of Great Britain overtook Black Beauty into turn four.New Zealand’s Jonny Reid said: ‘On the first start I had to lift through turn one because Nico was in front and I had pretty much no down-force thanks to going through the disturbed air. I went to defend but Robbie got me on the outside. I gave him racing room but then we touched going through turn three, and I almost held him out as I had the inside line for four and five. It was a bit of luck I was able to come back on the re-start and on the lights I got second. For the next race as usual we are representing our countries so we will both do our best. The championship is at stake so we need to focus on this but we will race hard and fair.’

As the field entered the second lap there was little change from their original starting positions with Netherlands, Malaysia, Czech Republic, Mexico, Singapore, and Australia gaining a couple of positions as the field jostled for position.

A spin from A1 Team Lebanon at turn eight saw the safety car deployed towards the end of lap five, bunching up the field for an exciting finale to the 20 minute race. As the safety car peeled off at the end of lap eight and the pack crossed the start/finish line, New Zealand made its move on Great Britain regaining second place into turn one.

But that was not to be the end of Great Britain’s troubles as France made its move, overtaking Britain on the inside as it became increasingly obvious that driver Robbie Kerr was suffering from problems with the car. Mid-way through lap 13, Kerr slammed on the brakes and let the field pass, pulling into the pits with a punctured right front tyre, putting them towards the back of the grid for this afternoon’s Feature race.

Winning driver Nico Hulkenberg commented: ‘I had a good rolling start and a good re-start after the Safety Car, but then it was not that easy as I just tried to focus on myself and push as hard as I could. First of all Jonny and then GBR were pushing from behind. There are some things which are not perfect, but it is hard to get the car perfect here because there is not a lot of rubber on the track, but we will try our best to improve the car.’

A1 Team France’s Loic Duval said: ‘I made a big mistake at the start of the race. The first corner is quite bumpy and I used three push to passes. The car was not perfect so we have to improve it a bit for this afternoon. We can now improve the car a little so I am sure it will be possible to fight for first place.’

Sprint race results

  A1 Team Driver Time Gap first
1 Germany Nico Hulkenberg 20.13.223
2 New Zealand Jonny Reid 20.15.377 +2.154
3 France Loic Duval 20.21.054 +7.831
4 Switzerland Sebastien Buemi 20.24.108 +10.885
5 Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen 20.25.360 +12.137
6 China Ho-Pin Tung 20.26.315 +13.092
7 Malaysia Alex Yoong 20.26.771 +13.548
8 USA Phil Giebler 20.27.477 +14.254
9 Czech Republic Tomas Enge 20.28.152 +14.929
10 Ireland Richard Lyons 20.29.097 +15.874
11 Mexico Salvador Duran 20.29.559 +16.336
12 Singapore Christian Murchison 20.29.987 +16.764
13 Canada James Hinchcliffe 20.30.834 +17.611
14 Australia Karl Reindler 20.30.919 +17.696
15 Italy Enrico Toccacelo 20.32.647 +19.424
16 South Africa Alan van der Merwe 20.33.037 +19.814
17 Indonesia Ananda Mikola 20.33.774 +20.551
18 India Parthiva Sureshwaren 20.42.451 +29.228
19 Great Britain Robbie Kerr 13 laps 1 lap
20 Pakistan Nur Ali 12 laps 2 laps
21 Brazil Tuka Rocha 11 laps 3 laps
22 Lebanon Alex Khateeb 5 laps 9 laps

Fastest lap: A1 Team Germany, 1.19.142 (178.8kph) – outright track record for the Eastern Creek circuit





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