Strong drive from Lapierre earns France podium Sentul Sunday, December 10, 2006 -- The action-packed day at Sentul turned out good for A1 Team France's Nicolas Lapierre. Spurred on by plenty of fans waving huge banners reading 'Allez Nicolas',...
Strong drive from Lapierre earns France podium
Sentul Sunday, December 10, 2006 -- The action-packed day at Sentul turned out good for A1 Team France's Nicolas Lapierre. Spurred on by plenty of fans waving huge banners reading 'Allez Nicolas', Lapierre finished seventh in the sprint race and climbed up to third in the feature race.
The feature race start was hit by rain and just like in Malaysia, a torrential downpour hit the feature race and the race started behind the pace car. The rain was so heavy that later on, the race was stopped as conditions were too dangerous to run even behind the safety car.
Nicolas explains:"I had a good start and was running in fifth position but I lost a bit of time with the first set of tyres. 39 laps before the end, the team called me in for an early pitstop. Everything worked well and I rejoined in 13th. I was determined to finish well despite the really bad conditions and continued my fight up the order in the feature race. The team helped me tremendously and the pit stop was perfect. I was already third in the first part of the race. But I lost my advantage on lap 24 as Great Britain and USA passed me. I fought back and regained fourth leaving Jonny Reid behind me. Overall it was a good race and a tough fight all the way through. Nine laps before the end, I was in third place as the safety car came out after Robbie Kerr's spun. Only six minutes of the race were left. Considering the start, that we had to change the set-up on the grid and the overall bad weather conditions, it is an excellent result. We have a good pace in the races, but need to work on our qualifying results."
Eric Boullier, team manager, A1 Team France added: "Nicolas drove a great race. To start from 7th and get to the podium is a good result. The team worked hard and consistently. Our strategy paid off. I'm very happy for Nicolas. Now we need to focus on our qualifying better so we can fight for wins."
A1 Team France, being the first winner of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in 2005, is one of 22 teams contesting in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in 2006.
The sixth race will be in Taupo -- New Zealand on Sunday January 21, 2007 - Bonne annee!
-credit: team france