Kerr's Malaysian podium lifts A1 Team Great Britain to second Sunday November 26, 2006 -- Robbie Kerr celebrated A1 Team Great Britain's second straight Feature race podium as he finished second behind Germany's Nico Hulkenberg today in Round 4...
Kerr's Malaysian podium lifts A1 Team Great Britain to second
Sunday November 26, 2006 -- Robbie Kerr celebrated A1 Team Great Britain's second straight Feature race podium as he finished second behind Germany's Nico Hulkenberg today in Round 4 of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.
Kerr, who earlier scored points for a fifth place finish in the Sprint race, enjoyed a successful return to the team having watched rookie racer, Oliver Jarvis, take Britain's first podium of the season at the previous A1GP round in China. More significantly, the team's points scoring consistency and recent podium flurry has elevated Great Britain to a clear second overall in the A1GP Nations Standings, trailing Germany, winner's of a wet Malaysian Feature race, by just six points after four rounds (37-31) while leading the Malaysian entry in third place by seven.
Sunday morning's 10-lap Sprint round the 3.44-mile Sepang track saw Robbie take the rolling-start from fourth but the former British F3 Champion found himself boxed in as the 22-strong field of nations sprinted towards the first turn. Home favourite and ex-Minardi F1 driver Alex Yoong capitalized on Kerr's misfortune and slipped past to take the Malaysian entry up into fourth.
While the Brit looked to regain the spot he had neither the opportunity nor the pace to make anything stick. Taking a couple of points for fifth place at the chequered, more important to Kerr was the top-five start he secured for the Feature race. Neel Jani scored A1 Team Switzerland's first win of the season in the Sprint followed home by Hulkenberg for Germany and New Zealand's Jonny Reid.
The start to the afternoon's 70-minute Feature race was delayed thanks to one of Malaysia's famed monsoon's, the torrential downpour arriving in the hour before on-track proceedings were due to take place. When the race finally started it did so under the safety car in an attempt to clear some of the standing water. Robbie Kerr proved himself to be a master of the treacherous conditions and when racing began in earnest he wasted little time on building his podium charge picking off his Sprint race nemesis, Alex Yoong, for fourth.
A wheel-to-wheel battle for third followed with New Zealand's Jonny Reid, the duo defying the slippery conditions to put on a show with Kerr eventually emerging victorious. With his confidence high Kerr then pushed for second and on lap 20 the opportunity presented itself as Neel Jani spun the Swiss entry at the second to last turn. Kerr, who had been making his mandatory pit-stop, successfully exited the pits and charged to the first turn ahead of the recovering Swiss car. With Hulkenberg too far ahead to catch for a shot of the win Robbie's sterling efforts, in tricky conditions, were rewarded with a fine second place finish, Nicolas Lapierre completing the podium for A1 Team France.
"I'm pleased for the team as second place in light of what we faced today is a good result," commented Kerr. "The guys did a great job in the pit stop to get me out ahead of Switzerland, we knew we had a shot at the second podium spot and they kept telling me to push. It's great to return to A1GP action with a podium and from the championship perspective I'm pleased we're up into second place heading to Indonesia. We led much of that race last season and I'm confident we'll be stronger on our return!"
Round 5 of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport takes place in two weeks time, Friday 8th -- Sunday 10th December, at the Sentul International Circuit, Indonesia -- www.a1gp.com
-credit: team great britain