Great Britain holds second with Indonesian podium
Sunday 10 December, 2006 -- Round 5 of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, held at the Sentul Circuit in Indonesia, proved to be an eventful Sunday outing for A1 Team Great Britain with Robbie Kerr capturing a third place podium finish in the Sprint race followed by the team's first Feature retirement later in the day.
Kerr's earlier podium effort, the team's third top-three finish of the season following Feature race runner-up spots in China and Malaysia, plus his point for Fastest Lap, ensures Great Britain holds on to second overall in the A1GP Nations Standings heading into the New Year, the gap to current leaders Germany increasing to 12 points (48-36) with the Mexican entry climbing to third just three markers behind.
Sunday morning's 15-lap Sprint race saw Kerr take the rolling start from second on the grid having lost pole to New Zealand's Jonny Reid in the dying stages of Saturday's qualifying session. The British charger made a solid start but was unable to fend off the attentions of the Mexican car, driven by Salvador Duran. Dropping to third Robbie soon found himself losing another spot to Phil Giebler in the USA entry before he slipstreamed the American to regain his position at the third turn.
Eager to make up for lost time Kerr narrowed the gap between himself and the leaders but couldn't get close enough to mount an attack. Jonny Reid scored New Zealand's first ever A1GP victory with Mexico's Salvador Duran second at the chequered followed by Kerr for Great Britain, the former British F3 Champion setting the fastest race lap of the day with a 1m18.110s taking the valuable bonus point in the process as it wouldn't be bettered in the Feature.
An eventful Feature race followed with Kerr lining up third on the grid courtesy of his Sprint finish. Heavy rains forced a delayed start but that failed to dampen Robbie's enthusiasm for the race and he duly passed Mexico for second as he sought to record the team's first A1GP victory. Hampered throughout with a lack of PowerBoost, Kerr found himself caught in a three-way battle for third following his first pit stop, the Brit eventually making the position his having fought wheel-to-wheel with France and the USA.
He would be forced to pit again, this time for a set of slick tyres as the 2.56-mile Sentul track began to dry out following the monsoon rains. Despite being briefly held up by the Dutch entry, Kerr quickly passed and began to head towards the top-three once again. Robbie's podium aspirations came to a sudden stop in the dying stages of the race as he spun and stalled the British entry on lap 39 bringing a spirited performance to an immediate end along with the team's run of points paying Feature finishes. New Zealand claimed the double on the day taking the win ahead of France and Germany.
Reflecting on a busy day in Indonesia Kerr remarked, "Well it was certainly eventful out there!" He continued, "It was good to get a podium earlier in the day in the Sprint although we missed out at the start which cost us the chance of going for the win. Lack of PowerBoost didn't help in the Feature but things were going well until the car slipped away at Turn 4 and I beached it in the gravel, day over!"
Round 6 of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport takes place in the New Year, Friday 19th -- Sunday 21st January, at the new 3.5km Taupo Circuit in New Zealand -- www.a1gp.com
-credit: team great britain