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A1GP New Zealand Storms to Home Race Win

New Zealand - New Zealand made A1GP history today dominating the Taupo Sprint race from lights-to-flag to take its first ever A1GP win at home. It became only the second team to win a home race in the history of the thrilling series. Jonny Reid led from pole to take the chequered flag and score 15 crucial points, moving ahead of France for second in the championship.

Current title leader Switzerland's race was over on the first lap due to a turn one collision, moving the Kiwis to just five points behind the Swiss in the championship battle.

The packed grandstands were on their feet as Reid crossed the line three seconds ahead of defending champion Germany's Christian Vietoris, to secure the first win for New Zealand since taking the double victory in Brno earlier this season. Germany's Vietoris, who picked up a bonus point for clocking the fastest lap of the race on lap nine, started from fourth on the grid but quickly closed in on South Africa and France to take second by lap six.

New Zealand and Germany were joined on the podium by France's Loic Duval, who raced to a strong third place, followed by South Africa's Adrian Zaugg in fourth.

The Netherlands, Ireland and USA finished fifth, sixth and seventh respectively while Portugal recorded its best finish this season when Joao Urbano crossed the line in eighth position. Australia's John Martin and India's Narain Karthikeyan fought hard to take the final two points-paying positions while Pakistan's Adam Khan put in his best performance of the season to secure 11th behind India.

A1 Team Lebanon was on course for its first ever A1GP point when the Czech Republic's Tomas Enge hit Chris Alajajian from behind on the ninth lap, causing him to pit for repairs. The Lebanese team finally finished the race in 15th behind China.

Four cars were involved in a first lap incident, Malaysia, Switzerland, Brazil and Canada tangling into turn one, bringing out the safety car for two laps. Malaysia's Alex Yoong and championship leader Switzerland's Neel Jani were forced out of the action but Canada's Robert Wickens and Brazil's Sergio Jimenez were able to rejoin after pitting for repairs.

All 22 nations are now preparing for the main event of the weekend at Taupo, a thrilling and unpredictable 70-minute Feature race, which starts at 15:00 this afternoon.

New Zealand's Jonny Reid was ecstatic with his first home win and is eager for another in this afternoon's Feature race:

'It's huge, absolutely huge. It's the greatest moment in my motorsport career. It means a lot to me and the pressure's been on all weekend. It's been all go since I got back from the Christmas break and it's really, really satisfying to get one on the board for everyone. The pole position was nice but now we've got the points and that's what matters in the championship. It's great to have all the home support and I'm just stoked to be number one in the Sprint.

'We can definitely move forward in the Feature, it's a long race and we've just got to tune the car a bit more for the conditions and we'll be right there I'm sure. We've got to control the emotions a little bit after this first victory and look for another.'

Germany's Christian Vietoris, who raced to a superb second position, said:

'The main aim was to get on the podium for the Sprint race so I'm really happy. I feel really comfortable and the car now feels fine and I'm looking forward to the Feature race. I'm starting from the first row and with a good start I hope I can do well.'

France's Loic Duval, who finished third in the Sprint race and is on pole for the Feature race, said:

'I think Adrian took a really good start and actually was in front of Jonny. Christian could pass me in the first two corners and then I managed to come back and get on the podium. I had a good chance to overtake the South African car so it wasn't too bad and the car was ok. We are going to start first for the Feature race so I'm still really confident. I have to take a good start and if I am leading from the front then I think we have a really good chance.'

Sprint race results

POS

DRIVER

A1 TEAM

 LAPS

 TIME

GAP FIRST

1

Jonny REID

NEW ZEALAND

14

19:25.408

-

2

Christian VIETORIS

GERMANY

14

19:28.600

+3.192

3

Loic DUVAL

FRANCE

14

19:30.307

+4.899

4

Adrian ZAUGG

SOUTH AFRICA

14

19:33.231

+7.823

5

Jeroen BLEEKEMOLEN

NETHERLANDS

14

19:34.989

+9.581

6

Adam CARROLL

IRELAND

14

19:36.320

+10.912

7

Jonathan SUMMERTON

USA

14

19:36.825

+11.417

8

Joao URBANO

PORTUGAL

14

19:38.723

+13.315

9

John MARTIN

AUSTRALIA

14

19:40.988

+15.580

10

Narain KARTHIKEYAN

INDIA

14

19:48.376

+22.968

11

Adam KHAN

PAKISTAN

14

19:51.181

+25.773

12

Edoardo PISCOPO

ITALY

14

19:51.456

+26.048

13

Sergio JIMENEZ

BRAZIL

14

19:51.949

+26.541

14

Congfu CHENG

CHINA

14

19:52.181

+26.773

15

Chris ALAJAJIAN

LEBANON

14

19:54.891

+29.483

16

Satrio HERMANTO

INDONESIA

14

19:56.515

+31.107

17

David GARZA

MEXICO

14

19:56.757

+31.349

18

Robert WICKENS

CANADA

11

16:15.661

3 Laps

19

Tomas ENGE

CZECH REPUBLIC

10

14:51.686

4 Laps

20

Robbie KERR

GREAT BRITAIN

9

20:32.011

5 Laps

21

Alex YOONG

MALAYSIA

0

 

14 Laps

22

Neel JANI

SWITZERLAND

0

 

14 Laps

Fastest lap: A1 Team Germany's Christian Vietoris set the fastest lap (1m15.740s) of the Sprint race on lap nine.

A1GP New Zealand and France on Pole at Taupo

New Zealand - Home nation A1 Team New Zealand qualified in pole position for tomorrow morning's Sprint race at Taupo while France took the Feature race pole. It was an unusual qualifying hour as the majority of teams waited as late as possible to take to the windy, dusty track during each of the four 15-minute qualifying segments.

Sprint race qualifying
The crowds roared as New Zealand's Jonny Reid set the fastest lap in the closing minutes of the second 15-minute qualifying segment to snatch pole position for tomorrow morning's Sprint race.

South Africa's Adrian Zaugg will line up alongside the home nation hero on the front row, after an incredible last lap charge during Q2 moved him up to second place. France's Loic Duval, who has been the man to beat all weekend, will start the race from third position on the second row while Germany's Christian Vietoris qualified fourth.

The Netherlands' Jeroen Bleekemolen and USA's Jonathan Summerton will line up on the third row of the grid in fifth and sixth place respectively.

Feature race qualifying
The teams continued to play a waiting game due to the dusty conditions, finally taking to the track with just over two minutes of the final qualifying segment remaining. France's Loic Duval put in a sensational performance to secure pole for the Feature race ahead of Germany's Christian Vietoris who will line up alongside him on the front row.

Current championship leader Switzerland's Neel Jani qualified in third position, closely followed by Canada's Robert Wickens who will start from fourth on the grid. Home nation New Zealand's Jonny Reid took the fifth spot while Portugal's Joao Urbano recorded an incredible lap around the 3.5km circuit to secure sixth position ahead of South Africa.

New Zealand's Jonny Reid is delighted to be starting tomorrow's Sprint race from pole position and is aiming for a win in front of his home crowd:

'It was a fantastic feeling to see everyone on their feet in the grandstands as I came across the line. I had no radio communication during the session but I could see the crowd were pretty excited and I was hoping it was at least the front row. It was a very clean lap in Q2 and not many mistakes which is pleasing. We slipped up a bit for the Feature race qualifying but we'll be there when it comes to the racing tomorrow. I have the home support and I really want this one.'

Season one champion France's Loic Duval has been on superb form all weekend and has high hopes for tomorrow's Feature race, which he is starting from pole:

'The first part of qualifying was ok because I was first in the first segment, but the set up of the car wasn't really as good as this morning. It was quite difficult to find a good set up which is why I just took pole for the Feature race. The average of today is not too bad though - first and third - and at the end of the weekend the most important thing is the number of points we can score.'

Germany's Christian Vietoris, who will start the Sprint race from fourth and the Feature race from second on the grid, commented on the dirty, dusty track conditions:

'It is a big problem because you don't know what to expect at the next corner. Today it was ok but yesterday it was a lot worse and nearly everybody went off the track at some point.'

Tomorrow's Sprint race at Taupo, New Zealand will start at 11.00 local time and the 70-minute Feature race will start at 15.00.

Sprint race qualifying results - A1GP Taupo, New Zealand (round 5 of 10)

POS

A1 TEAM

DRIVER

 TIME S1

 TIME S2

 BEST TIME

GAP FIRST

1

NEW ZEALAND

Jonny REID

01:16.533

01:15.241

01:15.241

 

2

SOUTH AFRICA

Adrian ZAUGG

01:17.423

01:15.522

01:15.522

0.281

3

FRANCE

Loic DUVAL

01:16.340

01:15.628

01:15.628

0.387

4

GERMANY

Christian VIETORIS

01:16.495

01:15.724

01:15.724

0.483

5

NETHERLANDS

Jeroen BLEEKEMOLEN

01:17.700

01:16.036

01:16.036

0.795

6

USA

Jonathan SUMMERTON

01:19.515

01:16.101

01:16.101

0.86

7

IRELAND

Adam CARROLL

01:16.846

01:16.182

01:16.182

0.941

8

CANADA

Robert WICKENS

01:17.612

01:16.201

01:16.201

0.96

9

MALAYSIA

Alex YOONG

01:19.409

01:16.386

01:16.386

1.145

10

BRAZIL

Sergio JIMENEZ

01:17.516

01:16.408

01:16.408

1.167

11

SWITZERLAND

Neel JANI

01:16.978

01:16.423

01:16.423

1.182

12

ITALY

Edoardo PISCOPO

01:17.654

01:16.472

01:16.472

1.231

13

GREAT BRITAIN

Robbie KERR

01:17.876

01:16.731

01:16.731

1.49

14

PORTUGAL

Joao URBANO

01:23.471

01:17.147

01:17.147

1.906

15

AUSTRALIA

John MARTIN

01:18.875

01:17.309

01:17.309

2.068

16

CHINA

Congfu CHENG

 

01:17.340

01:17.340

2.099

17

LEBANON

Chris ALAJAJIAN

 

01:17.682

01:17.682

2.441

18

MEXICO

David GARZA

 

01:17.809

01:17.809

2.568

19

CZECH REPUBLIC

Tomas ENGE

01:19.736

01:17.811

01:17.811

2.57

20

INDIA

Narain KARTHIKEYAN

01:50.053

01:17.961

01:17.961

2.72

21

INDONESIA

Satrio HERMANTO

01:20.597

01:18.421

01:18.421

3.18

22

PAKISTAN

Adam KHAN

01:19.325

01:18.635

01:18.635

3.394

Feature race qualifying results - A1GP Taupo, New Zealand (round 5 of 10)

POS

A1 TEAM

DRIVER

TIME S1

TIME S2

BEST TIME

GAP FIRST

1

FRANCE

Loic DUVAL

01:15.974

01:15.296

01:15.296

 

2

GERMANY

Christian VIETORIS

01:15.869

01:15.331

01:15.331

+0.035

3

SWITZERLAND

Neel JANI

01:16.351

01:15.476

01:15.476

+0.180

4

CANADA

Robert WICKENS

01:15.922

01:15.588

01:15.588

+0.292

5

NEW ZEALAND

Jonny REID

01:15.618

01:15.649

01:15.618

+0.322

6

PORTUGAL

Joao URBANO

01:16.627

01:15.620

01:15.620

+0.324

7

SOUTH AFRICA

Adrian ZAUGG

01:15.651

 

01:15.651

+0.355

8

NETHERLANDS

Jeroen BLEEKEMOLEN

01:15.988

01:15.795

01:15.795

+0.499

9

GREAT BRITAIN

Robbie KERR

01:16.485

01:15.895

01:15.895

+0.599

10

USA

Jonathan SUMMERTON

01:16.185

01:15.898

01:15.898

+0.602

11

BRAZIL

Sergio JIMENEZ

01:16.647

01:16.024

01:16.024

+0.728

12

AUSTRALIA

John MARTIN

01:16.658

01:16.106

01:16.106

+0.810

13

IRELAND

Adam CARROLL

01:16.271

01:16.115

01:16.115

+0.819

14

MALAYSIA

Alex YOONG

01:16.198

01:16.303

01:16.198

+0.902

15

MEXICO

David GARZA

01:17.977

01:16.313

01:16.313

+1.017

16

ITALY

Edoardo PISCOPO

01:16.592

01:16.524

01:16.524

+1.228

17

LEBANON

Chris ALAJAJIAN

01:17.871

01:16.556

01:16.556

+1.260

18

CHINA

Congfu CHENG

01:17.625

01:16.761

01:16.761

+1.465

19

INDIA

Narain KARTHIKEYAN

01:17.248

01:16.791

01:16.791

+1.495

20

CZECH REPUBLIC

Tomas ENGE

01:18.217

01:17.526

01:17.526

+2.230

21

PAKISTAN

Adam KHAN

01:18.338

01:17.556

01:17.556

+2.260

22

INDONESIA

Satrio HERMANTO

01:18.106

01:18.395

01:18.106

+2.810

A1GP France and New Zealand on Pole at Eastern Creek

Australia - A1 Team France put in a superb performance to qualify in pole position for tomorrow morning's Sprint race at the A1GP Sydney, Australia while the Feature race will be led off the grid by championship leader New Zealand.

Sprint race qualifying
Loic Duval continued to impress the packed grandstands at Eastern Creek, clocking the fastest lap during the first 15-minute qualifying segment to take pole position for A1 Team France for tomorrow morning's Sprint race.

Switzerland's Neel Jani, who has been struggling with grip levels and tyre wear this weekend, returned to his usual fine form to set the second quickest time during Q2 and line the Swiss car up alongside Duval on the front row.

South Africa's Adrian Zaugg qualified in third position while current championship leader New Zealand's Jonny Reid will start the race from fourth place on row two. China's Congfu Cheng and USA's Jonathan Summerton will line up on the third row of the grid in fifth and sixth place respectively.

Feature race qualifying
Having completed qualifying for the Sprint race in cloudy and humid conditions, the drivers were greeted by sunshine and blue skies when they took to the track for Feature race qualifying five minutes later.

New Zealand's Jonny Reid put in a sensational performance to snatch pole position for the Feature race from title rival Switzerland's Neel Jani by 12 thousandths of a second. Reid was one of the first drivers on track in Q4 and set a time that claimed the first Feature Race pole of his A1GP career and his fourth pole position overall.

After failing to set a time in the first qualifying segment due to being held up by the Lebanese car spinning off at turn four, Great Britain's Robbie Kerr, who is without his race engineer this weekend, made a good recovery to qualify in third position for the Feature race. GBR race engineer James Goodfield suffered a broken leg on Friday night when he was hit by a tyre gun hose that became disconnected when the Portuguese crew in the next door garage were practicing their pit stops. 

A1 Team China's Congfu Cheng, who is having a great weekend, will line up in fourth place on the second row. A year on from the team's first podium finish at Eastern Creek, China enjoyed one of its most competitive qualifying sessions to date, topping the time sheets in the third qualifying segment.

Sprint race pole-sitter France's Loic Duval took the fifth spot ahead of South Africa's Adrian Zaugg who will start from sixth.

After the end of the qualifying session, Canada's Robert Wickens had his best overall time removed as a penalty for failing to comply with blue flags. His actions resulted in him holding up Brazil's Sergio Jimenez who was on his Q3 flying lap. Canada will start the Feature race from the last row in 21st position.

Home nation A1 Team Australia's John Martin will start the Sprint race from ninth, the nation's best qualifying performance so far this season and first top ten start on home soil. Martin will start the Feature race from 14th.

After an encouraging start to the weekend, Lebanon will start both races from the back of the grid. Chris Alajajian ran wide and spun into the tyre wall on his out lap during the first qualifying segment and there was no time to repair the extensive damage sustained before the end of the session.

Season one champion France's Loic Duval, who has been on sensational form all weekend in what might be his last A1GP event this season, will start tomorrow's Sprint race from pole and the Feature race from fifth:

'The top step of the podium is our target. This is maybe my last weekend in A1GP so I would like to leave the series with a win. We are in the best position for the Sprint race which makes it easier for the start. I think we are quite competitive and we are always fighting from the front. If we can get a good start tomorrow morning it's going to be difficult for the other drivers to attack us.'

New Zealand's Jonny Reid, who is starting tomorrow's Feature race from pole position for the first time, said:

'We struggled to get a gap in qualifying one for the Sprint race and after that we changed our game plan and made sure we got clean, clear runs. The car's great and I'm extremely satisfied we've taken pole position. I was only able to qualify second here last year but this year we're on pole and I'm really pleased. Qualifying is one thing and racing is another but the car feels good and I'm confident with the team and I'm sure we can put in a strong performance tomorrow.'

Switzerland's Neel Jani, who will start the Sprint and Feature races from second on the grid, commented on his incredible return to form after a tough start to the weekend:

'Basically I was on average one and a half seconds slower than the guys next to me on every lap. We tried everything, we changed everything on the car and the mechanics had a long night session to see what the problem could be. The last thing we changed for qualifying was the tyres and my first lap on new tyres was two and a half seconds quicker than I ever was on the circuit so far. It was a shock to me in those first laps to feel that grip and how different the car was. In the end we still missed pole but we were close so it was a big change for me.'

Tomorrow's Sprint race at Eastern Creek Raceway in Sydney, Australia will start at 11.00 local time and the 70-minute Feature race will start at 15.00.

Sprint race qualifying results - A1GP Sydney, Australia (round 6 of 10)

POS

A1 TEAM

DRIVER

TIME S1

TIME S2

BEST TIME

GAP FIRST

1

FRANCE

Loic DUVAL

01:18.149

01:18.375

01:18.149

 

2

SWITZERLAND

Neel JANI

01:18.485

01:18.218

01:18.218

+0.069

3

SOUTH AFRICA

Adrian ZAUGG

01:18.243

01:18.343

01:18.243

+0.094

4

NEW ZEALAND

Jonny REID

01:18.799

01:18.368

01:18.368

+0.219

5

CHINA

Congfu CHENG

01:19.383

01:18.370

01:18.370

+0.221

6

USA

Jonathan SUMMERTON

01:19.371

01:18.464

01:18.464

+0.315

7

GERMANY

Michael AMMERMÜLLER

01:21.134

01:18.632

01:18.632

+0.483

8

GREAT BRITAIN

Robbie KERR

 

01:18.649

01:18.649

+0.500

9

AUSTRALIA

John MARTIN

01:19.679

01:18.690

01:18.690

+0.541

10

NETHERLANDS

Jeroen BLEEKEMOLEN

01:19.007

01:18.804

01:18.804

+0.655

11

BRAZIL

Sergio JIMENEZ

01:19.626

01:18.811

01:18.811

+0.662

12

IRELAND

Adam CARROLL

01:19.326

01:18.929

01:18.929

+0.780

13

INDIA

Narain KARTHIKEYAN

01:20.120

01:19.004

01:19.004

+0.855

14

CZECH REPUBLIC

Tomas ENGE

01:19.617

01:19.099

01:19.099

+0.950

15

CANADA

Robert WICKENS

01:19.197

01:19.609

01:19.197

+1.048

16

MALAYSIA

Fairuz FAUZY

01:19.709

01:19.384

01:19.384

+1.235

17

PORTUGAL

Joao URBANO

 

01:19.492

01:19.492

+1.343

18

PAKISTAN

Adam KHAN

01:20.749

01:19.623

01:19.623

+1.474

19

MEXICO

David GARZA

 

01:19.785

01:19.785

+1.636

20

ITALY

Edoardo PISCOPO

01:20.026

01:19.975

01:19.975

+1.826

21

INDONESIA

Satrio HERMANTO

01:20.154

02:00.395

01:20.154

+2.005

22

LEBANON

Chris ALAJAJIAN

 

 

 

 

Feature race qualifying results - A1GP Sydney, Australia (round 6 of 10)

POS

A1 TEAM

DRIVER

TIME S1

TIME S2

BEST TIME

 GAP FIRST

1

NEW ZEALAND

Jonny REID

01:19.683

01:18.578

01:18.578

 

2

SWITZERLAND

Neel JANI

01:19.594

01:18.590

01:18.590

+0.012

3

GREAT BRITAIN

Robbie KERR

01:20.759

01:18.720

01:18.720

+0.142

4

CHINA

Congfu CHENG

01:19.359

01:18.825

01:18.825

+0.247

5

FRANCE

Loic DUVAL

01:19.643

01:18.829

01:18.829

+0.251

6

SOUTH AFRICA

Adrian ZAUGG

01:19.788

01:18.922

01:18.922

+0.344

7

USA

Jonathan SUMMERTON

01:20.150

01:18.976

01:18.976

+0.398

8

CZECH REPUBLIC

Tomas ENGE

01:20.335

01:19.232

01:19.232

+0.654

9

BRAZIL

Sergio JIMENEZ

01:40.741

01:19.235

01:19.235

+0.657

10

MALAYSIA

Fairuz FAUZY

01:20.455

01:19.252

01:19.252

+0.674

11

NETHERLANDS

Jeroen BLEEKEMOLEN

01:20.231

01:19.487

01:19.487

+0.909

12

GERMANY

Michael AMMERMÜLLER

01:20.138

01:19.516

01:19.516

+0.938

13

MEXICO

David GARZA

01:19.878

01:19.529

01:19.529

+0.951

14

AUSTRALIA

John MARTIN

01:19.761

01:19.611

01:19.611

+1.033

15

IRELAND

Adam CARROLL

01:20.193

01:19.706

01:19.706

+1.128

16

PORTUGAL

Joao URBANO

01:20.149

01:19.733

01:19.733

+1.155

17

PAKISTAN

Adam KHAN

01:20.591

01:19.852

01:19.852

+1.274

18

INDIA

Narain KARTHIKEYAN

01:19.878

01:19.951

01:19.878

+1.300

19

ITALY

Edoardo PISCOPO

01:20.486

01:20.051

01:20.051

+1.473

20

INDONESIA

Satrio HERMANTO

01:20.721

01:20.133

01:20.133

+1.555

21

CANADA

Robert WICKENS

 

 

 

 

22

LEBANON

Chris ALAJAJIAN

 

 

 

 

A1GP India Takes Incredible Maiden Victory at Zhuhai

China - A1 Team India's Narain Karthikeyan made history today when he took his and the team's first ever A1GP race win in this afternoon's incident-packed Feature race at China's Zhuhai International Circuit. Karthikeyan was joined on the podium by New Zealand's Jonny Reid, who started from 10th on the grid, and South Africa's Adrian Zaugg in third.

The 30-year-old Indian driver, who started from third on the grid, took the lead from New Zealand during the second pit stop window on lap 29 and, despite a huge amount of pressure and some excellent racing from Reid, Karthikeyan held off Black Beauty and went on the cross the line in first place and score India's first A1GP win in the history of the sport.

South Africa's Zaugg also enjoyed a strong race to take the final podium position, having started from ninth on the grid. Zaugg was under attack from Germany's Michael Ammermüller during the last 10 laps of the 45 lap race but the 21-year-old South African pushed hard to take third place ahead of the German rookie who ultimately finished fourth.

Fifth place was taken by Great Britain's Oliver Jarvis, who got away well from second on the grid and snatched the early lead from pole sitter Switzerland as Brazil, Ireland, Canada and Malaysia were all involved in an incident behind them at turn one, bringing out the safety car for four laps. Fast work in the pits during the first pit stop window allowed Switzerland to steal the lead when they rejoined the action while GBR fell back to sixth place.

Having enjoyed an early lead, the British and Swiss teams were both hampered with delays in their second pit stops due to technical issues, ultimately finishing in fifth and sixth positions respectively. Despite a disappointing finish, GBR's Jarvis was clearly pushing hard, picking up a bonus point for setting the fastest lap in the Feature race on lap 29.

France, who finished the race seventh, was hit with a drive through penalty on lap 16 due to releasing their car unsafely from its first pit stop. As he drove past the USA pit box, Loic Duval caught the hose connected to one of the airguns causing a USA mechanic to be pulled to the ground.

Tomas Enge, making his A1GP race return for the Czech Republic after an absence of 10 months, had a superb afternoon, racing from 16th on the grid to finish a solid eighth.

Home nation China's CongFu Cheng, who was running in sixth place on lap 31 after the second round of pit stops, fell down the order to 10th after taking a drive through penalty for speeding in the pit lane. The Chinese star was determined not to give up, charging past USA with five laps remaining and finally crossing the line in ninth place, picking up two valuable championship points, moving the team up one position in the overall championship standings.

Netherland's Jeroen Bleekemolen was forced out of the action on lap nine due to a puncture caused by suspected suspension failure at the final corner while 12th placed Portugal received a drive through penalty on lap five for making a false start.

Narain Karthikeyan, who made history today by scoring India's first ever A1GP win, praised his team's brilliant work in the pits:

'The team has been working really hard at pit stop practices and they've done a really good job this weekend. Both the pit stops were excellent and we got ahead but unfortunately I got stuck behind Pakistan on my out lap so I couldn't push but I came out just ahead of Jonny. There was a lot of pressure towards the end but then his tyres went off as well as mine and then we were equal - after that I just got the job done.'

Jonny Reid, who raced from 10th on the grid to finish a superb second, was delighted with New Zealand's team work this weekend:

'It was a fantastic team effort. Obviously I'm very pleased to come from P10 on the grid and having struggled in qualifying to threaten for the win in the end. It's a credit to the team. My in laps were good, my out laps were good, and there were a few mistakes from my side of the fence so overall I'm very pleased with the whole team this weekend. Fantastic effort.'

South Africa's Adrian Zaugg was pleasantly surprised by his team's podium finish today and enjoyed some competitive racing:

'I was quite surprised myself that we had the pace to finish on the podium. We were quite strong from the beginning of the race and passed quite a few people, Great Britain was one of them. He (Oliver Jarvis) made a slight mistake into the second last turn so I got a good run down the straight and passed him into the last turn. It was really good racing.'

Switzerland has extended its championship lead to 79 points, 19 ahead of second-placed France on 60, closely followed by New Zealand just one point behind in third place on 59 points.

The championship now takes a five-week break before heading to New Zealand for round five in Taupo, marking the first race of the New Year on 18-20 January 2008.

Feature race results

Pos

Driver

A1 Team

 Laps

 Time

 GapFirst

1

Narain KARTHIKEYAN

INDIA

45

1:08:30.759

-

2

Jonny REID

NEW ZEALAND

45

1:08:31.261

0.502

3

Adrian ZAUGG

SOUTH AFRICA

45

1:08:34.887

4.128

4

Michael AMMERMULLER

GERMANY

45

1:08:35.666

4.907

5

Oliver JARVIS

GREAT BRITAIN

45

1:08:36.026

5.267

6

Neel JANI

SWITZERLAND

45

1:08:45.275

14.516

7

Loic DUVAL

FRANCE

45

1:08:49.331

18.572

8

Tomas ENGE

CZECH REPUBLIC

45

1:08:57.899

27.14

9

Congfu CHENG

CHINA

45

1:08:58.338

27.579

10

Jonathan SUMMERTON

USA

45

1:09:04.147

33.388

11

David GARZA

MEXICO

45

1:09:20.112

49.353

12

Joao URBANO

PORTUGAL

45

1:09:34.590

+1:03.831

13

Chris ALAJAJIAN

LEBANON

44

1:09:01.358

1 Lap

14

Adam KHAN

PAKISTAN

44

1:09:11.681

1 Lap

15

Ian DYK

AUSTRALIA

42

1:09:35.597

3 Laps

16

Adam CARROLL

IRELAND

27

1:03:01.695

18 Laps

17

Satrio HERMANTO

INDONESIA

19

0:31:17.476

26 Laps

18

Jeroen BLEEKEMOLEN

NETHERLANDS

9

0:16:08.328

36 Laps

19

Robert WICKENS

CANADA

3

0:06:41.803

42 Laps

20

Edoardo PISCOPO

ITALY

1

0:01:53.984

44 Laps

21

Sergio JIMENEZ

BRAZIL

1

0:02:37.624

44 Laps

22

Alex YOONG

MALAYSIA

0

 

45 Laps

2007/08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport points standings

POS

A1 Team

Points

1

Switzerland

79

2

France

60

3

New Zealand

59

4

Great Britain

48

5

South Africa

47

6

Netherlands

41

7

Ireland

39

8

Germany

37

9

China

28

10

India

27

11

Brazil

22

12

Mexico

17

13

Canada

10

14

Czech Republic

10

15

Italy

4

16

Portugal

2

17

Australia

2

18

Malaysia

2

19

USA

2

Fastest lap: A1 Team Great Britain set the fastest lap in the Feature race, lapping Zhuhai International Circuit in 1m24.703s with a speed of 183.6 kph on lap 29 of the 45 lap race.

Next race: A1GP Taupo, New Zealand, 18-20 January 2007

A1GP Germany Wins as China Takes Home Race Podium

China - Pole sitter A1 Team Germany's Michael Ammermüller raced to his first A1GP victory in this morning's inaugural Zhuhai Sprint race at round four of the 2007/08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport season while China's CongFu Cheng put in an incredible performance on home soil, taking a fantastic home race podium.

German rookie Ammermüller dominated the race from lights to flag, holding off Neel Jani to cross the line just over half a second ahead of title leader Switzerland who finished second. The packed grandstand roared when home nation China's CongFu Cheng made a sensational move past Ireland's Adam Carroll on lap 10 to grab third place. The 23-year-old from Beijing went on to take the first podium finish of his career and China's first of the season.

Czech Republic, Great Britain and India finished fifth, sixth and seventh while France and the Netherlands crossed the line in eighth and ninth place respectively.

Canada's Robert Wickens made a brave move past Jonny Reid on lap four to snatch 10th position from New Zealand. The pair continued to battle and in the closing minutes of the 13 lap race, Reid collided with the Canadian racer to take back the final points paying position.

Five of the 22 cars on the grid were involved in a first lap collision, Australia, Brazil and South Africa tangling at turn four and Lebanon running off into the gravel, bringing out the safety car for three laps. Malaysia was forced out of the action due to a puncture sustained from running over debris caused by the incident.

All 22 nations are now preparing for the main event of the weekend at Zhuhai, a thrilling and unpredictable 70 minute Feature race, which starts at 15:00 this afternoon.

Germany's Michael Ammermüller was pleased with his first win and happy to put the challenges he experienced in Malaysia behind him:

'It was a very nice race. We did a good job yesterday in qualifying and we had a good start today. The car was very good and I didn't make any mistakes. The last race in Sepang wasn't so nice but this time the start was a lot better and I'm happy. This afternoon will be more difficult as I'm starting from fifth position but it's a longer race and lots can happen.'

Switerland's Neel Jani, who finished second in the Sprint race and is on pole for this afternoon's Feature race, said:

'My start wasn't too bad, I got very close to Michael but he defended well and I couldn't really get past him without taking any risks. In the end I just settled for second and picked up some good points, plus I got the extra point for the fastest lap. We're on pole position this afternoon which is a good starting point but we will struggle with brakes towards the end of the race, as everybody will, so it's a just a question of who gets through the race with the least amount of problems.'

China's CongFu Cheng was delighted with his first podium finish and overwhelmed by all the support from his home fans:

'It was a great race and I want to say thanks to the crowd and to A1 Team China. It feels fantastic to deliver the first podium of the season for myself and for the team. The crowd was great and big thanks to the team, I'm speechless.'

Sprint race results

Pos

Driver

A1 Team

Time

Gap First

1

Michael AMMERMÜLLER

GERMANY

20:31.432

-

2

Neel JANI

SWITZERLAND

20:32.033

+0.601

3

Congfu CHENG

CHINA

20:36.064

+4.632

4

Adam CARROLL

IRELAND

20:38.139

+6.707

5

Tomas ENGE

CZECH REPUBLIC

20:38.818

+7.386

6

Oliver JARVIS

GREAT BRITAIN

20:39.297

+7.865

7

Narain KARTHIKEYAN

INDIA

20:40.093

+8.661

8

Loic DUVAL

FRANCE

20:40.465

+9.033

9

Jeroen BLEEKEMOLEN

NETHERLANDS

20:41.082

+9.650

10

Jonny REID

NEW ZEALAND

20:44.424

+12.992

11

Edoardo PISCOPO

ITALY

20:46.141

+14.709

12

Jonathan SUMMERTON

USA

20:48.327

+16.895

13

Ian DYK

AUSTRALIA

20:48.601

+17.169

14

Adam KHAN

PAKISTAN

20:52.376

+20.944

15

Robert WICKENS

CANADA

20:53.216

+21.784

16

David GARZA

MEXICO

20:54.820

+23.388

17

Satrio HERMANTO

INDONESIA

20:55.224

+23.792

18

Sergio JIMENEZ

BRAZIL

20:55.457

1 Lap

19

Joao URBANO

PORTUGAL

16:26.238

3 Laps

20

Adrian ZAUGG

SOUTH AFRICA

03:15.105

12 Laps

21

Alex YOONG

MALAYSIA

03:26.864

12 Laps

22

Chris ALAJAJIAN

LEBANON

 

13 Laps

Fastest lap: A1 Team Switzerland's Neel Jani set the fastest lap (1m24.418s) of the Sprint race on lap 11

A1GP Germany and Switzerland on Pole at Zhuhai

China - Defending champion A1 Team Germany qualified in pole position for tomorrow morning's Sprint race at the inaugural Huatai A1GP Zhuhai, China while the Feature race will be led off the grid by current championship leader Switzerland.

Sprint race qualifying
German rookie Michael Ammermuller set the fastest lap during the second 15-minute qualifying segment to snatch pole position for tomorrow morning's Sprint race from Ireland's Adam Carroll, who was quickest around the 4.3km Chinese circuit in Q1.

Switzerland's Neel Jani will line up alongside Germany on the front row, after a superb last lap charge during Q2 demoted Ireland's Adam Carroll and China's CongFu Cheng to third and fourth place respectively. Great Britain's Oliver Jarvis and Czech Republic's Tomas Enge will line up on the third row of the grid in fifth and sixth place respectively.

Feature race qualifying
Switzerland's Neel Jani went one better in the final qualifying segment to secure pole for the Feature race ahead of GBR's Oliver Jarvis who will line up alongside him on the front row.

India's Narain Karthikeyan put in a sensational lap in Q4 to secure third position on the grid, closely followed by France's Loic Duval who will start from fourth. Germany took the fifth spot while home nation China's CongFu Cheng continued to impress the home fans by qualifying in sixth position and achieving China's best combined qualifying performance to date.

Germany's Michael Ammermüller was delighted with his first pole position in only his second A1GP appearance and is looking forward to taking on the challenging Zhuhai circuit tomorrow morning:

'We did a good job to get first place in qualifying and it's a great result for the whole team. We were struggling a bit in free practice but then we got a really good car and we were quite dominant in the first qualifying. The track got a bit worse towards the end and we weren't in the top three but still I think it's a good result. It's better to be first in the first race because it's a short race and quite difficult to overtake and in the second race it's all about strategy and anything is possible.'

Sepang double race winner Neel Jani, who has been struggling with brake problems on the Swiss car, was pleased with his team's qualifying performance:

'We had another great qualifying - second for the Sprint race and first for the Feature race - but it's very tight this time and all very close, every little mistake can put you three spots back. I'm very pleased as yesterday we had a lot of brake problems so the team did a great job to get it solved for today.'

Great Britain's Oliver Jarvis will start both the Sprint and Feature races from second on the grid. The 23-year-old said:

'The free practice and qualifying sessions have been pretty tough. Like Neel said, the track adheres to very close times so a small mistake can make a big difference. It's also very difficult to get a full lap together, there's a lot of heavy braking zones and it's very easy to make a mistake. We've struggled a little bit so far but hopefully we can have very good races and score a lot of points.'

Tomorrow's Sprint race at Zhuhai International Circuit, China will start at 11.00 local time and the 70-minute Feature race will start at 15.00.

Sprint race qualifying results - A1GP Zhuhai, China (round 4 of 10)

POS

A1 TEAM

DRIVER

 TIME S1

 TIME S2

 TIME

GAP FIRST

1

GERMANY

Michael AMMERMÜLLER

01:23.790

01:23.203

01:23.203

 

2

SWITZERLAND

Neel JANI

01:24.127

01:23.425

01:23.425

0.222

3

IRELAND

Adam CARROLL

01:23.675

01:24.265

01:23.675

0.472

4

CHINA

Congfu CHENG

01:23.811

01:23.784

01:23.784

0.581

5

GREAT BRITAIN

Oliver JARVIS

01:24.490

01:23.850

01:23.850

0.647

6

CZECH REPUBLIC

Tomas ENGE

01:24.410

01:23.921

01:23.921

0.718

7

FRANCE

Loic DUVAL

01:24.159

01:23.928

01:23.928

0.725

8

NETHERLANDS

Jeroen BLEEKEMOLEN

01:24.235

01:23.965

01:23.965

0.762

9

INDIA

Narain KARTHIKEYAN

01:24.570

01:23.972

01:23.972

0.769

10

CANADA

Robert WICKENS

01:24.029

01:24.286

01:24.029

0.826

11

USA

Jonathan SUMMERTON

01:26.073

01:24.104

01:24.104

0.901

12

BRAZIL

Sergio JIMENEZ

01:24.141

01:24.212

01:24.141

0.938

13

NEW ZEALAND

Jonny REID

01:24.141

01:24.252

01:24.141

0.938

14

SOUTH AFRICA

Adrian ZAUGG

01:24.576

01:24.207

01:24.207

1.004

15

PORTUGAL

Joao URBANO

01:24.685

01:24.263

01:24.263

1.06

16

ITALY

Edoardo PISCOPO

01:24.307

01:24.675

01:24.307

1.104

17

MALAYSIA

Alex YOONG

01:25.083

01:24.391

01:24.391

1.188

18

AUSTRALIA

Ian DYK

01:24.770

01:24.850

01:24.770

1.567

19

INDONESIA

Satrio HERMANTO

01:25.875

01:24.893

01:24.893

1.69

20

LEBANON

Chris ALAJAJIAN

01:25.793

01:24.915

01:24.915

1.712

21

PAKISTAN

Adam KHAN

01:24.958

01:26.041

01:24.958

1.755

22

MEXICO

David GARZA

01:25.246

01:25.829

01:25.246

2.043

Feature race qualifying results - A1GP Zhuhai, China (round 4 of 10)

POS

A1 TEAM

A1 DRIVER

 TIME S1

 TIME S2

 TIME

GAP FIRST

1

SWITZERLAND

Neel JANI

01:24.170

01:23.465

01:23.465

 

2

GREAT BRITAIN

Oliver JARVIS

01:24.100

01:23.650

01:23.650

0.185

3

INDIA

Narain KARTHIKEYAN

01:24.436

01:23.767

01:23.767

0.302

4

FRANCE

Loic DUVAL

01:24.355

01:23.784

01:23.784

0.319

5

GERMANY

Michael AMMERMÜLLER

01:24.093

01:23.890

01:23.890

0.425

6

CHINA

Congfu CHENG

01:24.331

01:23.930

01:23.930

0.465

7

USA

Jonathan SUMMERTON

01:24.459

01:23.992

01:23.992

0.527

8

MALAYSIA

Alex YOONG

01:25.116

01:24.036

01:24.036

0.571

9

SOUTH AFRICA

Adrian ZAUGG

01:24.435

01:24.100

01:24.100

0.635

10

NEW ZEALAND

Jonny REID

01:24.613

01:24.114

01:24.114

0.649

11

CANADA

Robert WICKENS

01:24.933

01:24.149

01:24.149

0.684

12

PORTUGAL

Joao URBANO

01:25.126

01:24.250

01:24.250

0.785

13

IRELAND

Adam CARROLL

01:24.519

01:24.294

01:24.294

0.829

14

BRAZIL

Sergio JIMENEZ

01:24.599

01:24.328

01:24.328

0.863

15

LEBANON

Chris ALAJAJIAN

01:25.343

01:24.328

01:24.328

0.863

16

CZECH REPUBLIC

Tomas ENGE

01:24.554

01:24.350

01:24.350

0.885

17

PAKISTAN

Adam KHAN

01:24.378

01:25.250

01:24.378

0.913

18

NETHERLANDS

Jeroen BLEEKEMOLEN

01:24.897

01:24.460

01:24.460

0.995

19

AUSTRALIA

Ian DYK

01:24.802

01:24.538

01:24.538

1.073

20

INDONESIA

Satrio HERMANTO

01:24.667

01:25.052

01:24.667

1.202

21

ITALY

Edoardo PISCOPO

01:25.221

01:24.810

01:24.810

1.345

22

MEXICO

David GARZA

01:25.265

01:24.886

01:24.886

1.421