Top-Six China Finish Caps McIntosh's Return Sunday 15 April, 2007 -- Sean McIntosh capped his return to the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport with a brilliant drive for Canada from the rear of the field to sixth place at the checkered in...
Top-Six China Finish Caps McIntosh's Return
Sunday 15 April, 2007 -- Sean McIntosh capped his return to the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport with a brilliant drive for Canada from the rear of the field to sixth place at the checkered in Round 10's Feature race, hosted on Sunday at China's stunning Shanghai International Circuit.
In a performance reminiscent of his last-to-first Feature race victory for A1 Team Canada last February in Indonesia, the 21-year-old from Coquitlam, B.C. recovered from the disappointment of being taken out of Round 10's Sprint race in the morning, France's Jean Karl Vernay the guilty culprit, to steer his way from the final row of the 22-car grid through to a points paying finish in sixth in the Feature.
McIntosh had high hopes for the 10-lap Sprint race in Shanghai, an opinion shared by the Canadian team as they qualified ninth the day before, their first top-ten start since January's sixth round at the Taupo Motorsports Park in New Zealand. Sean grabbed a spot at the start of the race and was looking to secure a front-running starting slot for the afternoon's Feature race when France came steaming up the inside of the Canadian entry on the main straight with three laps to go.
Vernay's tricolor car rammed into McIntosh's right rear tire, the pair spearing off-track in the process. While the rivals rejoined it quickly became evident that punctures to both cars would curtail their participation in the final laps of the Sprint race, the two drivers to meet again on the back-row of the Feature grid. Great Britain's Robbie Kerr captured the team's second straight A1GP victory followed at the flag by New Zealand's Jonny Reid and Germany's Nico Hulkenberg.
Sean wasted little time in moving though the field from 21st as the lights flicked to green to start the 70-minute Chinese Feature race. By the end of the first tour of duty the Canadian had charged his way up to 16th and by lap 10, the opening of the mandatory pit-window, he had successfully broken into the top-ten running order. McIntosh climbed as high as fifth before he too darted into the pits on lap 15 for a full tire change, the pit-crew performing flawlessly under the pressure of maintaining their strongest showing in several starts. Losing virtually no ground to his rivals, Sean returned to the track in ninth and by the halfway marker on lap 20 had passed India's Narain Karthikeyan for seventh.
With the demise of Jonathan Summerton in the American entry, and the subsequent safety car period on lap 25, McIntosh broke back into the top-six. From sixth he comfortably held off Italy's Enrico Toccacelo while giving chase to Ireland's Richard Lyons ahead, the gap between the pair less than two seconds as they raced through to the checkered on lap 39. Sean's sixth place rewarded the Canadian team with five valuable points, the team now just two points out of the top-ten with one round remaining. New Zealand's Reid beat Great Britain's Kerr to the flag while Hulkenberg's third place performance was enough for Germany to be crowned 2006-07 A1GP World Champions.
"It's a great return to form for Canada," commented McIntosh. "The car was much better in the Feature race, probably the best it's been all weekend, and our pit-stop was phenomenal. We made some changes following the Sprint race and as a result I had the speed to overtake in a straight line. Overall I'm pleased with our performance and can't wait to get to Brands Hatch in two weeks time!"
The 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport concludes with Round 11 at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in the United Kingdom, Friday 27th -- Sunday 29th April
-credit: team canada