A1 TEAM AUSTRALIA MAKES THE WINNERS CIRCLE IN FINAL RACE OF THE SEASON Team Australia have finished the inaugural A1 Grand Prix of Nations season in style, making it to the podium in the final race of the series. The race was held in China,...
A1 TEAM AUSTRALIA MAKES THE WINNERS CIRCLE IN FINAL RACE OF THE SEASON
Team Australia have finished the inaugural A1 Grand Prix of Nations season in style, making it to the podium in the final race of the series.
The race was held in China, at the Shanghai International Circuit -- a modern race facility with a long wide track which was very popular with drivers. There was a big crowd to cheer on the teams. New Team Australia driver Ryan Briscoe steered the car to third place, helped by a great effort from the team in the pits.
After the practice session on Friday the team were quietly confident. Ryan had managed fourth quickest on the day and there was a feeling, Team Australia had a good race set up. However, qualifying saw the team beset with tyre inconsistency which meant starting Sunday in ninth position. These problems remained throughout the Sprint Race with Team Australia seemingly rooted to ninth place.
This all changed where it mattered most - the final race. "From the first race we were struggling a little so we made a few changes for the second race," Ryan said. The crew had to change a faulty alternator between the sprint and feature races, which almost saw the car, miss the start.
A text-book pit stop in lap three helped to sure up the team's position. Team Principal Alan Jones commented: "The boys did a fantastic pit stop, I think it was the fastest by any team on the day which saw us move up."
After the pit stop Ryan explained: "I managed a couple of passes which moved us into third. I kept working hard, and tried to preserve the tyres as much as possible, but I didn't have the speed to catch Alex Yoong, the Team Malaysia driver."
"It's a fantastic result to come away with third, especially as this is only my second outing in A1 Grand Prix. It means a lot to be racing for your country. I must say a big thank you to all the boys in the team. I would also like to thank our sponsor's Fosters for all their support."
Ryan went on to comment about his time with Team Australia. "I felt at Laguna I was a little rusty, especially on a road track but now I am much more comfortable. I am feeling fit, fast and very at ease in the car."
Reflecting on the series after the race Alan Jones said: "It is always nice to finish on a high note. I think this consolidates the team and has us very well placed for next season. I am looking forward to 1st October in Holland."
This is the third podium finish for Team Australia in the inaugural A1 Grand Prix of Nations Series and means the Aussies finish the season thirteenth overall from a field of twenty-five. In the Shanghai race, the Czech Republic won the race, with Team Malaysia in second place. The series' overall winner was Team France, with Team Switzerland second and Team Great Britain third.