A1 Team France have further increased their storming lead in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport taking their fifth and sixth wins in a row today in Sydney, Australia. The team won both the sprint and feature races putting their lead up to 19 points…
Having taken pole position in qualifying for the sprint race ahead of Portugal and Switzerland, Nicolas Lapierre drove a fantastic drive for them through two incident packed races.
As the sprint race started, Portugal and Brazil made good starts moving up through the field. However at turn two the Czech Republic and South African cars went off onto the dirt. South Africa managed to recover but Czech Republic didn’t prompting the safety car.
The safety car was brought out again when Germany and Mexico collided, also at turn two, and were forced to retire. Italy narrowly avoided the incident.
A mild knock between South Africa and Lebanon forced both cars to pit, but they were able to continue.
At the mid point in the race the action was tight between Brazil and Portugal. But it was obvious the safety car periods had taken their toll and the chequered flag was dropped a lap early.
The feature race brought about a heart stopping moment when Japan’s Hayanari Shimoda crashed violently at turn one on lap 26 destroying the car. The driver was momentarily knocked unconcious but was taken to the medical center to be checked over by medical delegate Dr Paul Trafford. It was reported he was talking with rescue staff on the way and is said to have no further injuries. Dr Trafford complimented CAMS, the circuit medical staff, Meditrak and the marshals for their handling of the incident.
The race provided some great action for the fans with a number of retirements including South Africa, Mexico, Russia, Austria, Czech Republic and Japan.
France made a bad start losing the lead to Portugal. Ireland made an early pit stop having started 4th on the grid and dropping down to 12th.
It wasn’t to be however for Portugal as they got a drive through penalty for jump starting handing the lead back to France. Brazil also got a drive through for a pitlane infringement dropping them from 8th to 10th.
Team Ireland was a bit too quick off the mark as the yellow flags came in when they overtook before the finish line. The 25 second penalty they got as a result dropped them from 8th to 14th.
Because of the Japanese cars incident the one hour rule meant the race had to be stopped after 33 laps instead of 45.
In the end France won from Great Britain in 2nd ahead of Switzerland in 3rd. The Netherlands took 4th and Malasyia took 5th.
The top five in the championship are now France in 1st, Brazil 2nd, Switzerland 3rd, Netherlands 4th and Great Britain 5th.