SOUTH AFRICA PODIUM FOR A1 TEAM GBR AND OLIVER JARVIS Durban, South Africa, Sunday 24 February 2008: - A1 Team Great Britain's Oliver Jarvis scored the team a second consecutive podium with a second place in today's Sprint race in Durban, South...
SOUTH AFRICA PODIUM FOR A1 TEAM GBR AND OLIVER JARVIS
Durban, South Africa, Sunday 24 February 2008: - A1 Team Great Britain's Oliver Jarvis scored the team a second consecutive podium with a second place in today's Sprint race in Durban, South Africa. In today's A1GP World Cup of Motorsport event in Durban, South Africa, A1 Team GBR's Oliver Jarvis finished in a strong second position in the Sprint race, collecting ten crucial championship points for the team.
He looked set for another good points haul and possible podium in the Feature race, before he was forced into the pits for an unscheduled front wing change after Team Canada caused a collision with the GBR car by driving the wrong way on the circuit trying to recover from a spin. Beginning from fourth on the grid in this morning's 20-minute Sprint race, Jarvis made a brilliant rolling start, darting down the outside and passing Switzerland and Brasil to take second place.
After the first hairpin, New Zealand's Jonny Reid hit the right-hand sidepod of the GBR car quite heavily, but Jarvis was able to keep the car under control and remain in second position behind Canada's Robert Wickens. After five laps third-placed Switzerland began to put pressure on GBR, with the gap down to around half a second, but Jarvis was able to comfortably keep his position.
The red flag was shown on lap 13 following a collision between Germany and the Netherlands, and the race ended, with the results based on the classification from the previous lap. Jarvis and Team GBR finished on the podium in second position between race winner Canada and third-placed Switzerland. In what turned out to be a frantic Feature race, with three safety car periods due to multi-car accidents at the unforgiving turn 1 hairpin and another red flag ending, Oliver made a good start, moving up to third past Canada before retaking his initial fourth placed starting position at the hairpin, falling behind Brasil.
After the first round of pitstops Team GBR emerged in third position behind Switzerland and Canada. From lap 15 Team France began to put pressure on GBR, but Jarvis fought hard and retained his position, until the second round of pitstops when France's Loic Duval jumped ahead of GBR, putting Oliver back into fourth position.
Still with a podium finish in sight, Oliver was fighting hard until an incident on lap 39. Team Canada's Wickens spun after the hairpin, and began to drive the opposite way down the track to try to right his error. Heading into the blind corner, Oliver had nowhere to go when faced with a front on view of the Canadian car and he hit Wickens, breaking the front wing. He was able to continue but had to pit for a new nosecone.
After multiple car accident on lap 43 the race was red flagged and the order classified by the positions at the end of lap 41, at which point Oliver was in 11th position*.
* Results for the Feature race are provisional as several teams are under investigation for the incidents caused at turn 1
Following this weekend's Durban, South Africa round, A1 Team GBR remains sixth in the championship but has moved closer to fifth-placed South Africa. The team will now target this fifth spot at round eight of the championship, which will take place in Mexico City on 16 March.
Sprint Race: "At the start I noticed everyone in front dive down the inside so I thought I'd try my luck on the racing line. At one point I thought I was going to get the lead as I saw New Zealand drive into Canada which caused Robert Wickens to come out wide and clip me, but I still managed to get round before New Zealand drove into the side of me, damaging the car quite a bit. From then on, I didn't really challenge for the lead as I wasn't totally comfortable with the car - I'm not sure if it was due to the damage or set-up, but we will assess before the Feature race. But I'm happy with second - it's great to get a good result on the board ahead of the Feature race."
Feature Race: "We're absolutely gutted...The team has worked so hard this weekend and a lot of guys have been ill or struggling, plus we had to rush to get the car ready after the damage from the Sprint race. But to race for an hour and be taken out is devastating for the team and myself. Hopefully we can make amends over the next three rounds and deliver some wins, particularly at our home race at Brands Hatch in May. Unfortunately though, it looks like our title hopes are over for this season."
Katie Clements, Team Principal:
"We were very happy with the podium this morning and scored some strong points. We were in a good position for this afternoon and having our Feature race podium hopes taken away through no fault of our own is obviously not what we wanted. With South Africa our closest competitor in the championship, we had a good chance to move up to fifth after the Feature race and, because of the accident, we have not been able to do that. Nevertheless, we have had another strong weekend in terms of pace and performance, and we will carry that momentum to the next race in Mexico."
Channel Five will broadcast all the highlights from Durban, South Africa at 01.00am on Monday 25 February 2008.
Round 8 of the 2007/08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport takes place in Mexico City from Friday 14 to Sunday 16 March 2008.