Durban: Team Germany race report

A1 Team Germany notches up eighth win With team owner Willi Weber watching from pit road A1 Team Germany notched up a third successive full-house in the A1 GP World Cup of Motorsport: Nico Hülkenberg from Emmerich started the races from ...

A1 Team Germany notches up eighth win

With team owner Willi Weber watching from pit road A1 Team Germany notched up a third successive full-house in the A1 GP World Cup of Motorsport: Nico Hülkenberg from Emmerich started the races from pole position, won both the sprint and main race and, with his fastest lap of 1m18.701s in the sprint, also recorded the fastest time of the race weekend. Just as it had at the two previous rounds in New Zealand and Australia, A1 Team Germany scored a maximum 17 points once again.

With only three races remaining Willi Weber's team increased its championship lead from 25 to 30 points over chasing A1 Team New Zealand. At the same time Nico Hülkenberg, now with eight personal victories to his name, toppled Frenchman Alexandre Prémat from the top of the eternal best list.

Nico Hülkenberg made a perfect start from pole position in the sprint race to slot into the lead around the 3.28 kilometre street circuit. Loïc Duval from France overtook New Zealander Matt Halliday in the first corner and defended second position all the way to the finish. A1 Team Germany increased its lead to 2.781 seconds over the course of the 15 laps.

A1 Team Germany held its lead at the start of the main race. Strongest opponent in the opening stages was Jeroen Bleekemolen in the Dutch team car closely followed in third position by Robbie Kerr in the British A1 GP car. On lap nine the three leading teams from Germany, the Netherlands and Great Britain decided to pit at the same time. After recording almost identical times for the mandatory pit stop the trio returned to the track in the original running order. After the Netherlands had to make a second pit-stop on lap twelve, Germany led from Great Britain and the New Zealander Matt Halliday. Hülkenberg had edged out a lead of more than 20 seconds in the 520 hp A1 GP race car by lap 27. A full-course yellow between lap 35 and 38 reduced the German's advantage to a mere 2.2 seconds. In the remaining eleven laps Hülkenberg, who drove in his own league around the 3.28 kilometre track, extended his lead to 9.5 seconds from Great Britain.

Nicolas Hülkenberg:

"Another great weekend on a fantastic circuit! The team backs me one-hundred per cent, and I'm beginning to get the impression that our job is getting easier from race to race. The sprint went very well. Loïc Duval was right on my tail at the start, but I was able to pull away slightly. The sprint actually seemed more difficult than the feature race. After the pit-stop I drove just as fast as was absolutely necessary so as not to overstress my tyres in case the safety-car came out - which it duly did. Afterwards I drove on the limit and was occasionally one second per lap quicker than the chasing pack. Our tactics worked perfectly. At the next race Christian is in the cockpit, so the car will be in good hands."

Willi Weber:

"I was absolutely delighted to be able to watch Nico and David Sears' team winning in South Africa - congratulations for a deserved victory! The team's unbroken winning streak this year is becoming quite a revelation. After completing his first exploratory laps in practice Nico mentioned just how much fun he has having around the Durban circuit. There is an incredible atmosphere in the grandstands, which fits perfectly to the A1 GP World Cup of Motorsport. Nico was in another league in both the sprint and feature races. The 30 point lead means that we can approach the next event without any pressure. This is ideal, particularly as Christian Vietoris competes in both races in Mexico for the first time for us."

-credit: germany

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Robbie Kerr , Jeroen Bleekemolen , Alexandre Prémat , David Sears , Loic Duval , Christian Vietoris , Nico Hulkenberg , Matt Halliday