A1 Team Germany takes double in New Zealand The Willi Weber managed A1 Team Germany posted its most successful weekend to date in the A1 Grand Prix Series: Nico Hulkenberg from Emmerich proved to be unbeatable around the Taupo circuit in ...
A1 Team Germany takes double in New Zealand
The Willi Weber managed A1 Team Germany posted its most successful weekend to date in the A1 Grand Prix Series: Nico Hulkenberg from Emmerich proved to be unbeatable around the Taupo circuit in New Zealand by scooping pole position, winning both the sprint and main races and recording the fastest race lap of the weekend. It was the first sprint-race win and the third race-win of the 2006/2007 season for the team. After six of eleven rounds the German national team has increased its championship lead in A1 GP World Cup of Motorsport by seven points to now lead new closest rival France by 19 points.
In the first race A1 Team Germany converted its coveted pole position into a commanding lead. Nico Hulkenberg held his nerve and concentration after the first start was aborted -- a competitor had lined up in the wrong place on the grid -- and defended his position from the chasing Loïc Duval from France. The handling of his 520 hp A1 Grand Prix car improved from lap to lap during the race around the 3.5 kilometre Taupo circuit on on New Zealand's North Island allowing the 19-year old German to win by 3.747 seconds from France and Jonny Reid from host nation New Zealand.
The nations cup was witness to a dominating performance by A1 Team Germany in the main race: The German team's black-red-yellow car led from the start around the twisty circuit situated in the middle of a picturesque volcanic landscape. Nico Hulkenberg increased his lead to 2.937 seconds by lap eight before making his mandatory pit stop. After returning to the track he held tenth position. When the majority of his rivals headed down pit-road a lap later to change tyres, the German vaulted up to second position behind the Swiss team, which stopped on lap 13. Nico Hulkenberg assumed the lead on lap 14, before going on to increase his advantage to 8.943 seconds at half-distance after 25 laps. The "star of tomorrow" finally crossed the finish line 19.511 seconds in front of closest rival France, while local matador New Zealand completed the podium.
"We've had an absolutely unforgettable weekend in New Zealand. I laid the foundation for our success in qualifying. There were virtually no overtaking manoeuvres in the entire field, starting from pole was an enormous help. I think that New Zealand with Jonny Reid at the wheel and our team had the fastest cars in the field today. If Jonny had been up the front to start today he could also have won. Nevertheless, I still had to fight for my win: Loïc Duval from France attacked really hard at the beginning of both races, probably because his tyre pressures were better suited to the opening laps. But we were quicker over the distance."
"Nico has surprised us once again with his latest performance. Everything that was up for grabs this weekend he won: qualifying, the sprint race, the main race by a large margin and the battle for fastest lap, which actually gave us an extra point. We've opened up a significant lead in the championship at this half-way point. However, my congratulations don't only go to Nico and David Sears' team for the fantastic performance. Christian Vietoris also made a great debut. He drove our car for the first time during the 'rookie session' on Friday and lived up to everybody's expectations. We're in a good position for the remainder of the season."
-credit: team germany