Zandvoort: Team Czech Republic Sunday report

Erik Janis entered A1GP with point The Czech A1GP team enjoyed two race finishes during the season opener at Zandvoort and Erik Janis managed to mark his debut A1GP weekend with the first point in the Feature race. Erik also became A1GP driver...

Erik Janis entered A1GP with point

The Czech A1GP team enjoyed two race finishes during the season opener at Zandvoort and Erik Janis managed to mark his debut A1GP weekend with the first point in the Feature race. Erik also became A1GP driver in the history of the World Cup of Motorsport. The third A1GP started at Dutch Zandvoort today and full grandstands enjoyed dry races with thrilling spectacle.

Also weather showed better face and all Sundays running was in the dry. It was a nice change but it did not help the Czech team after Erik Janis tested dry Zandvoort for the first time only in the Sprint race. The young Czech however took a wise approach and gradually improved as his confidence was growing. He started 14th and was 15th under the flag. He had a small and surprising reason to celebrate after the race. He became A1GP's 100th race driver. Going into this weekend's race a total of 97 drivers had started at least one A1GP race since the series began in 2005 - and with five new drivers in the field this weekend, one was always going to push the series over that milestone. Brazil's Sergio Jiminez and the Lebanon's Chris Alajajian finished just ahead of Erik Janis on the track, meaning on final classification Erik Janis officially became the series' 100th driver.

Erik has a good seventh place on the Feature race grid. He was a bit unsure about standing start before but his getaway was a solid one and he stayed in the top ten. He was fighting hard with competitors and his duel with the Canadian car was almost the whole race long with small interruption during both mandatory stops. The first stop went okay but there was a drama during the second one. The lollipop lifted even though mechanics were working on one wheel and Erik was already accelerating when he pulled it down again. Fortunately for the Czechs the delay was not that big and Janis resumed his fight with the Canadian. Hard fight ended in a slight touch but Erik managed to keep the car under control. There was no chance to rest as Brazil was right behind. Janis did not allow his rival to unsettle him and kept 10th position till the chequered flag.

No less than 11 teams scored points in both races today. The Czech Republic is 10th in the standing thanks to Janis's point from the Feature race.

Erik Janis: "I am happy, really. Today was quite difficult we ran in the dry after wet practices and qualifying, so I did first dry laps here only in the Sprint. I was improving my pace trying no to do any mistake and getting experience for the Feature race. The rolling start was new to me and I was a bit surprised how long before the line the field accelerated. Our car had a slight brake problem but I was still able to fight with cars ahead at the end of the race. The Feature race was unbelievable. My practice starts had not been good but I did probably my best in the race. I safely managed to get through the first lap. Our first stop was okay, the second one was hectic when the lollipop lifted too early and I was already on the throttle when he brought it down again. I thought that chance for points had gone but somehow we were still in contention. I had a big scrap with the Canadian car his front wheel touched my rear but fortunately I kept it. The Brazilian pressured hard at the end but I wanted the point so much and was pushing like hell - I set my fastest lap on the penultimate lap. I would like also to thanks Tomas and Jarek they both helped me a lot. They helped not only with setup but also cooled me down or encouraged. It is nice that I am 100th driver in the A1GP but my aim is to make numbers in different stats."

Antonin Charouz, Seatholder: "We can consider 10th and one point as a good result considering that it was Erik's first A1GP race weekend. He has to take it step by step and he did a nice job, finished both races and the car is in one piece. Obviously our ambitions are higher than 10th bit it will take time. Erik will for sure do the rookie session at Brno. As far as our home races are concerned we will decide later and it will depend on how Tomas Enge's elbow will feel. Tomas is much more experienced and there will be big pressure at home."

-credit: a1gp.czech

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Tomas Enge , Chris Alajajian , Erik Janis , Antonin Charouz