DISAPPOINTMENT FOR COMPETITIVE A1 TEAM AUSTRALIA IN DURBAN DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - January 29, 2006: A1 Team Australia looked to be having one of its most competitive outings on the streets of Durban, only to be snuffed out in the Feature Race by...
DISAPPOINTMENT FOR COMPETITIVE A1 TEAM AUSTRALIA IN DURBAN
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - January 29, 2006: A1 Team Australia looked to be having one of its most competitive outings on the streets of Durban, only to be snuffed out in the Feature Race by an unnecessary incident involving team driver Will Davison and Team USA driver, Phil Giebler on the third lap.
Davison was showing no ill-effects from yesterday's practice crash by storming his way through to the top 10 in the Sprint Race. Starting 17th on the grid, Davison was 11th at the completion of an incident-packed opening lap and despite withstanding pressure from home town hero, Stephen Simpson, was able to come home in ninth placing after several incidents in the final laps left a number of stricken cars on the racetrack.
The ninth placing netted A1 Team Australia two points towards their World Cup of Motorsport tally.
"The car felt quite good in the Sprint Race," said Davison. "Starting within the top 10, I felt as though we had a great shot at getting a good result in the Feature Race."
The Feature Race looked promising for Davison, with the Foster's supported Australian car due to start from the fifth row of the grid. Unfortunately, the race lasted just over two laps, when he gave USA driver Giebler racing room into the hairpin at turn one, only to have him spin on the dirty part of the racetrack and collect Davison, thus forcing the Australian entry out of the race when he was unable to re-start the car.
"That was really disappointing," said Davison. "I was trying to stay out of trouble and gave him room to get by me, so to be taken out like that seems so pointless. It was very frustrating as we had moved forward and I think we could have scored some good points."
The Durban event, conducted in front of a sellout crowd, despite its ups and downs, was quite encouraging for A1 Team Australia, Friday's fastest time in practice undoubtedly the highlight.
"This weekend has left us feeling quite encouraged," said Team Principal, Alan Jones. "Will was looking very good in both races and was setting the Feature Race up nicely, only to be taken out. It's very disappointing, particularly for the team who'd worked incredibly hard across the weekend, but as they say, that's motor racing."
A1 Team Australia will now pack up and move to the Sentul circuit in Indonesia for the round of the A1 Grand Prix of Nations Series in two weeks across the weekend of February 10-12, 2006. This will be the re-scheduled event from mid-January.