Durban: Ho-Pin Tung race report

BROKEN GEARBOX KEEPS TEAM CHINA AWAY FROM THE POINTS A brilliant first lap, in which Ho-Pin Tung gained 7 positions, some laps in the lead and after the pit stop on the way to valuable points in the standings for the Nations Cup. These elements...

BROKEN GEARBOX KEEPS TEAM CHINA AWAY FROM THE POINTS

A brilliant first lap, in which Ho-Pin Tung gained 7 positions, some laps in the lead and after the pit stop on the way to valuable points in the standings for the Nations Cup. These elements could have made the A1-GP race in Durban, South Africa, Sunday, into a success for China. With only 22 laps to go a broken gearbox made an end to all illusions. In Sunday's Feature race there were more DNF's then drivers who made it to the finish line, but this was no comfort for Team China, which hoped to end a difficult weekend with a good result.

In Sunday mornings' Sprint race Ho-Pin Tung was hit by Team Malaysia's car in the hectic first lap. Although the car was damaged in the rear Ho-Pin Tung managed to bring it home at a reasonable satisfying 14th position.

The Feature race had a promising start. With a truly brilliant first lap Ho-Pin Tung fought his way up to 7th position, coming from 14th. Due to early pitters he could take the lead, which he kept 6 laps. After his own pit stop Ho-Pin Tung re-joined the race in 12th position. In this phase of the race he was by far the fastest car of the match. Another finish in the points was easy to predict until the broken gearbox did vaporize all illusions.

'This was not the luckiest weekend of my career,' Ho-Pin Tung commented from warm and humid Durban. 'In the Sprint race I had a good start but was hit in the rear of the car causing a damaged rear wing. This made me loosing grip. I had a super start in the Feature race,' says Ho-Pin Tung yet smiling. 'Again my car was hit, I believe everyone could see the damage done to my car on tv. The first pit stops brought the young Chinese driver the lead. After my own pit stop, which took too long, I was the quickest of the bunch. That felt good and I am sure that we could have made an impressive result here. The gearbox, though, gave more and more problems, especially when shifting up. At last the box broke and stalled the car. It is a pity that technical failure prevented us from scoring valuable point for China,' says Ho-Pin Tung. 'The whole team, we all deserved better, because we proved that the we are quick'.

-credit: hopintung.com

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Series A1GP
Drivers Ho-Pin Tung