A1 Team Germany celebrates tenth victory
Willi Weber's A1 Team Germany celebrated its tenth overall victory in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport during the fourth round of the 2007/2008 season held at Zhuhai in the People's Republic of China. Michael Ammermuller from Pocking who only contested his second A1GP race weekend for A1 Team Germany, the reigning champion of the series, won the sprint race ahead of Switzerland. In the feature race, the German team finished fourth.
Having claimed pole position for the sprint race in qualifying, the 21-year old Bavarian racing driver defended first position in the sprint from lights to flag. Swiss driver Neel Jani had to settle for second place as he didn't find a way past the German on the 4.3 kilometre circuit in the South Chinese Province of Guangdong.
The feature race kicked off from fifth place for Michael Ammermuller. In the first corner, a battle with A1 Team France forced the German A1GP car into the gravel and bend the steering slightly. Michael Ammermuller finished the first lap on ninth position. On lap eight, A1 Team China squeezed the German car which was taken to the grass. After these incidents, the strategy chosen by David Sears Motorsport team which runs the German car paid off perfectly. Thanks to two efficient and quick pit stops, A1 Team Germany was back on fourth place on the track. Even gearbox troubles towards the end of the race didn't prevent Michael Ammermuller to take fourth and to secure valuable points for the team. The reigning champion team scored 23 points this weekend and climbed from eleventh to eighth in the standings.
"My first win in A1GP feels really sweet. Now a difficult year has come to a good end -- after all, it's my first win in 2007. The sprint race was good and the car was simply excellent. Neel Jani had about the same speed but he couldn't pass me. In the feature race, my start was okay. But I got pushed off the track twice in the course of the race. Already after the lap 1 incident, my steering was slightly bent. I had to cope with it whilst the David Sears Motorsport crew did an excellent job, both in terms of strategy and the actual pit stops which were great. I was on fourth place and I tried to attack Adrian Zaugg from South Africa, but in the last few laps, the gearbox wouldn't change from second to third gear properly so I had to activate the paddles twice to engage the correct gear. Nonetheless, my second A1GP weekend was good when compared to the disappointment at Sepang last time. I hope we can fight for the top positions next time again."
"I'm very happy. Michael Ammermuller has broken his duck and won his first A1GP race with us. His career is back on track and he scored his first personal win of the season. I rate him as a highly talented guy who has deserved his chance in international motorsport. That's why he will continue to race for A1 Team Germany. It would have been great to score another podium finish in the feature race after his win in the sprint race, but he was prevented from doing so. The incidents cost him several positions, and the gearbox gremlins didn't help his cause either. He kept calm and judged his chances realistically. He didn't provoke any unnecessary risks. His time will come and if he will have an incident-free race next time, he will be right up there with the top contenders again."