Sepang: Team Germany Sunday notes

First podium finish for A1 Team Germany Willi Weber's A1 Team Germany recorded its best result of the season to date in the third round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in Malaysia. Nominated driver Michael Ammermuller, who had qualified on...

First podium finish for A1 Team Germany

Willi Weber's A1 Team Germany recorded its best result of the season to date in the third round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in Malaysia. Nominated driver Michael Ammermuller, who had qualified on the second row for the sprint and main race on his debut, finished third in the sprint. It was the first podium finish for A1 Team Germany in the current 2007/2008 season. In spite of the setback in the second race following a drive-through penalty, Willi Weber's team collected ten points -- more points than on each of the previous two race weekends.

Michael Ammermuller started the sprint race from fourth place at the wheel of the powerful 550 hp A1GP race car, and was already putting the Canadian Robert Wickens under pressure at the end of the first lap. In the tenth and final lap Ammermuller proved his fighting spirit by securing third place on his championship debut after light contact when overtaking the Canadian. For A1 Team Germany it was the 16th podium finish since the winter series started in 2005/2006.

While jostling for position at the start of the main race the German team's car, which had started from third place, lost three positions because Michael Ammermuller was not used to making a standing start with a foot-operated clutch pedal. On lap six he attacked Adam Carroll and took fifth position. He still held fifth position after his first compulsory pit stop. On lap 20 the newcomer attacked the fourth-placed car of A1 Team Great Britain, unfortunately both cars spun. As a result, the man from Lower Bavaria received a drive-through penalty which dropped him back to 18th position. David Sears Motorsport completed the second compulsory pit stop for A1 Team Germany in text book fashion on the 28th of the 35 lap race. Ammermuller climbed to 13th position before the finish.

Michael Ammermuller: "My first A1GP weekend was big fun, even though it didn't finish exactly as I'd hoped. The sprint race with the rolling-start began well even though I had to start from the dirty side of the track. The battle with the Canadian team was okay. Light contact is all part of racing. Third place was a great result. I made a mistake from the standing start in the main race and dropped back. I haven't driven a car with a foot-operated clutch pedal for two years; I'm only really familiar with hand clutches. Many of my rivals with recent Formula 3 experience definitely had an advantage today. I was sixth after the first lap before overtaking Adam Carroll. I wanted to overtake the British car after my pit stop in Turn 1, but I was too optimistic and we both spun. I received a drive-through penalty as a result. Still, I enjoyed a good race weekend, the team works well and we could have brought home a top result without the mistake."

Willi Weber: "I was very pleased with Michael Ammermuller's first race for our team here in Malaysia. He sat in our car for the first time on a race weekend after having tested just once for us nearly 15 months ago. Michael did a good job, which is confirmed by the first podium finish of the season. Unfortunately he lost any chance of another podium position in the main race following the Stewards' decision. I consider the commissioner's decision to be a little harsh since it was a typical racing incident. Michael Ammermuller has my complete and utter support. I'm delighted that he is a member of our team -- and, furthermore, he will continue to be so."

Next race: 14 to 16 December 2007, Zhuhai (People's Republic of China)

-credit: a1teamgermany/speedpool.com

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Series A1GP
Drivers Adam Carroll , David Sears , Robert Wickens , Michael Ammermüller