Durban: Team Czech Sunday notes

Kral finished incidents packed races Josef Kral managed to keep the Czech car in one piece during eventful races at Durban and finished both races that ended prematurely with red flags. The youngster was 18th in the Sprint and 16th in the...

Kral finished incidents packed races

Josef Kral managed to keep the Czech car in one piece during eventful races at Durban and finished both races that ended prematurely with red flags. The youngster was 18th in the Sprint and 16th in the Feature race. South Africans once again showed a great interest in the A1GP and full grandstands enjoyed some thrilling racing and also a beautiful view of the Indian Ocean.

The Sprint started with a big melee at the first corner that was triggered by contact between the Great Britain and New Zealand. The Czech car was stuck at the back and the engine stalled. Kral (www.josefkral.cz) had to wait for a push and spent next laps chasing Lebanon. He managed to find a way past and subsequent safety car period after Brazilians crashed out allowed him to close to the field.

Kral attacked India straight after restart and successfully overtook. However, it was effort for nothing because clash between the Netherlands and Germany brought a red flag out. In such situation are used positions from the lap before. Kral therefore finished 19th but later moved one place up after Germany was disqualified for causing avoidable accident.

The Feature race started in a similar fashion after China clipped Mexico at the first corner and half of the field had to wait to move the cars out of the way. Kral this time managed to keep engine going and joined the field during the first safety car period. Immediately after restart another clash happened at the first corner and the safety car was in. Kral again stood out of trouble and was close to the top ten.

He intended to pit but the Italian car went in his way and he had to brake hard to avoid it. He got a punch from behind and had to do another lap before the first stop. He resumed still in touch with other competitors but the car suffered a gearbox problem. He tried to continue and shifting worsened and eventually had to pit. The Czech team eventually solved the problem and Kral returned to the track although he was 8 laps down. The race once again ended with a red flag after a big crash at the first corner. The Czech car was classified 16th.

Josef Kral: "It was a tough debut but all in all I think it was not bad. I tried to be careful after the start of the sprint and there was a big jam at the first corner. Unfortunately, I pushed clutch just a bit late and stalled. I had to wait for a push and the field was gone. I had a nice fight with Lebanon and overtook him after few laps. I got a chance to close the whole gap when the safety car was deployed. I immediately overtook India after restart but there was red flag soon and it did not count. The feature start basically mirrored the sprint one at the first corner. Once again big jam but I learned from previous mistake and kept engine going. I was enjoying fight with others and everything went well till the first stop. Italian car ahead braked very late before the pit lane entry and I got a punch from behind. I missed the entry as a result and had to pit a lap later. Few laps after the stop started problems with gear shifting. It was worse and worse and I had to pit. We spent some time in the pits to try to rectify it. I returned back to the track mainly to do more laps and also there was always a chance of retirements of others. I am happy that I got a chance to race here. It was tough but I liked the car which is almost four times more powerful comparing to the F BMW. It is just a bit pity that we did not have any luck in the race. If we had not had those gearbox problems we could have scored even points."

Antonin Charouz, Seat holder: "Josef certainly did not disappoint. It was tough for him he was thrown in at the deep end. He did well to finish both races but his inexperience also played some part in damaging the wing on Friday and maybe also in some situations today. We can all see that the gap from between Formula BMW and A1GP cars is a huge one. We will talk with his management about his future participation in the Czech team. I am sure that it would allow him to learn a lot for the future."

-credit: a1teamczech

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Josef Kral , Antonin Charouz