Eastern Creek, Sydney - Nicolas Lapierre took his third A1 Grand Prix victory today, making it five straight wins in a row for A1 Team France. He was followed across the finish line by A1 Team Portugal giving them their first podium of the season,...
Eastern Creek, Sydney - Nicolas Lapierre took his third A1 Grand Prix victory today, making it five straight wins in a row for A1 Team France. He was followed across the finish line by A1 Team Portugal giving them their first podium of the season, while third place went to A1 Team Brazil.
When the cars crossed the start finish line for the rolling start it was pole sitter France who powered into turn one first, followed by Portugal and Brazil who had moved up from fourth on the grid. However, it was in turn two that the first mishap of the day occurred when the cars of the Czech Republic and South Africa went off into the dirt. South Africa managed to get back on the track but the Czech Republic didn't and so the safety car was deployed to remove the stricken car.
After the safety car came in at the end of lap three, racing started again but then turn two claimed its second set of victims. This time it was Germany and Mexico who locked wheels and pirouetted off into retirement. The lucky car this time belonged to Italy as the blue machine managed to avoid this accident and continue. The safety car came out again, the cars were retrieved and it was called in at the end of lap seven.
As racing started again, the Netherlands and Switzerland were battling but it was the battle between South Africa and Lebanon on lap nine that saw South Africa pit at the end of the lap with what looked like rear-suspension damage after they banged wheels and Lebanon come in a lap later.
By half way through the race, France had built up a lead of over three seconds but Brazil was trying everything to pass Portugal with just a few tenths separating them. As the race drew to a close it was obvious that the safety car periods had taken its toll so the chequered flag was brought out at the end of 19 laps instead of the full 20. Two cars who failed to pass the flag were Austria and Japan who spun off in unison without contact but the USA car that was following them closely did take the flag despite having to go off the circuit and pass between the stricken cars on the dirt.