Switzerland runner-up in World Cup of Motorsport The final round of the World Cup of Motorsport at Brands Hatch brought victory for Ireland. Adam Carroll won the sprint and went on to win the feature race, too. Neel Jani ended up eighth and...
Switzerland runner-up in World Cup of Motorsport
The final round of the World Cup of Motorsport at Brands Hatch brought victory for Ireland. Adam Carroll won the sprint and went on to win the feature race, too. Neel Jani ended up eighth and third. In the final standings of the fourth A1GP season, Ireland ended up 17 points clear of defending champions Switzerland and 20 points ahead of Portugal. Sincere congratulations to Ireland from the Swiss team!
What already became apparent in the practice and qualifying sessions initially became reality on Sunday: Neel Jani didn't manage to keep up with his rival in the battle for the title. At Brands Hatch, the Swiss car was too slow. Even Jani's aim to go for maximum attack on Sunday didn't help him any further. "In the sprint race, there wasn't much I could do with the car that still didn't handle properly", he reported. "In the afternoon, it all went significantly better. Unfortunately, an exhaust pipe broke after a few laps already, which had a noticeable effect on the engine power. I am sure that otherwise, I could have finished ahead of the Dutchman and maybe even put Ireland under pressure. But never mind. We will take on the next season with the aim of getting the title back."
Max Welti, the Swiss team principal, spoke about a happy ending of a difficult weekend and an ambivalent season. "In the feature race, Neel has shown a tremendous performance. In spite of the considerable lack of engine power due to the broken exhaust, he was just as fast as the Dutch driver. Once again also a big hand to our mechanics. The two pit stops were extraordinary. And once more, our chief strategist, James Robinson, was spot on with his calls. When you consider that we were 19 points down on the leaders after the first six races, we can be proud of the fact that we have been able to be in contention for the title until the very end. When I look back upon the four seasons, I am happy with our achievements anyway. We were world champions once, runner-up twice and eighth once." Indeed, nobody else can match that performance.
Although mathematically, the fight for the championship couldn't be decided in the sprint race, it was almost over after the 18 lap race in the morning. Ireland led with a net margin of twelve points from Switzerland and eleven from Portugal that had finished fifth. Therefore, fifth place in the feature race would be enough for Ireland to win the title. But they wanted more. Once again, Adam Carroll clearly dominated proceedings and after 49 laps, he finished some ten seconds clear of Jeroen Bleekemolen. Neel Jani crossed the finish line 3.4 seconds after the Dutchman.
Neel Jani's fastest sprint race lap was 1.166 seconds slower than Carroll's fastest time. Nine other drivers were also faster than the Swiss. Over the entire 66 kilometres, Jani, who had started eighth and finished in the same position, had lost 22 seconds on the winner. In the feature race, in which he stated fifth, Jani moved up one place after a successful first pit stop and successfully defended this position until the end, in spite of the exhaust problems. At 13 seconds, he kept the margin after 49 laps relatively limited.