Kerr Salvages Feature Point For Great Britain Sunday 04 February, 2007 -- Robbie Kerr managed to salvage a solitary point from a weekend that promised much but failed to yield the hoped for results as Round 7 of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of ...
Kerr Salvages Feature Point For Great Britain
Sunday 04 February, 2007 -- Robbie Kerr managed to salvage a solitary point from a weekend that promised much but failed to yield the hoped for results as Round 7 of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport visited Australia's Eastern Creek International Raceway.
A puncture in the morning's Sprint race wiped out Kerr's sterling qualifying efforts from the previous day, dropping the British entry from a certain podium finish to retirement in the pits, before the Burbage racer showed his true grit to fight his way from the rear of the field to tenth place, and the final point, in the afternoon's 70-minute Feature race. Despite just one point scored from the last five starts, Great Britain still clings to fourth overall in the Nations Standings with four rounds remaining.
With a podium finish to their credit from the previous visit to the 2.4-mile Sydney circuit, the British team was optimistic of another strong showing in Australia following Kerr's qualifying performance on Saturday, the former British F3 Champion claiming third on the grid for Sunday's 20-minute Sprint. Kerr looked like capitalizing on his starting slot early in the proceedings as he took the fight to the front-row pairing of Hulkenberg and Reid, racing for Germany and New Zealand respectively.
Blocked by Reid at the first turn, Kerr then picked up a puncture on his front-right tyre, the full impact of which would be felt later in the Sprint. Passing Reid for second, Robbie's steady handling looked like it might reap reward with a podium finish until a safety car period and the subsequent loss of tyre pressure had a terminal effect on the stricken British entry. With New Zealand and France passing for the final podium spots, the punctured tyre eventually let loose at Turn 1 leaving Kerr to hobble back to the pits and into retirement. Nico Hulkenberg won the Sprint ahead of Reid and France's Loic Duval.
Sunday afternoon's Feature race saw Kerr take the start down in 19th and despite a brief off on the opening lap he was quickly making up lost ground. When racing re-started following an early safety car period Kerr was firmly on a charge, sprinting from 19th to 15th on the first lap under green. Taking his mandatory pit stop a lap after the leaders, Robbie was soon fighting in the top-ten, even banging wheels with France as the dueling nations fought for track supremacy. Despite late-race pressure from Brazil's Tuka Rocha, Kerr defended tenth to the checkered to score a welcomed point for Great Britain. Hulkenberg triumphed again for Germany, their sixth win of the season, with New Zealand's Jonny Reid taking second ahead of China's Ho-Pin Tung.
"It definitely wasn't the weekend we should have had," reflected Kerr. "We deserved more and for whatever reason we've just been unlucky these last few races. The Feature race was never going to be easy starting at the back. I managed to get up to tenth but the car was struggling for grip at the end so I just couldn't match the pace of the guys ahead. Hopefully we'll get more from the Durban event."
Round 8 of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport sees a return to South Africa and the streets of Durban, Friday 23rd -- Sunday 25th February.
-credit: team gbr