Great Britain Celebrates Chinese A1GP Victory Sunday 15 April, 2007 -- Robbie Kerr steered A1 Team Great Britain to its second consecutive A1GP World Cup of Motorsport victory today as the Burbage racer capitalized on his first pole position of...
Great Britain Celebrates Chinese A1GP Victory
Sunday 15 April, 2007 -- Robbie Kerr steered A1 Team Great Britain to its second consecutive A1GP World Cup of Motorsport victory today as the Burbage racer capitalized on his first pole position of the season to dominate Round 10's Sprint race at the Shanghai International Circuit in China.
Kerr, having watched Oliver Jarvis score the team's maiden win at the previous round in Mexico City, finally broke his A1GP duck to savor his own top step podium triumph having come so close on numerous occasions. His biggest rival all weekend, New Zealand's Jonny Reid, denied Kerr a clean sweep of the podium in the afternoon's Feature race, Great Britain forced to settle for second place behind the Kiwi team after a fighting drive but finishing ahead of newly-crowned A1GP World Champions A1 Team Germany in third.
Kerr's efforts in Saturday qualifying, where he snatched pole from Reid in the dying seconds of the fourth and final run, would ultimately pay dividends in Sunday morning's 10-lap Sprint race. With a clear track ahead of him Kerr controlled the pace to the line and fired himself into the first turn with his finger planted firmly on the PowerBoost button. New Zealand and Germany gave chase but Robbie wasn't to be denied his moment of glory for Great Britain as he coolly led the 22-car field all the way to the chequered flag for the team's second straight A1GP victory and his own personal best!
The afternoon's 70-minute Feature race would again see Kerr in commanding form early on despite two brief safety car periods disrupting proceedings. Robbie won the battle to the first turn and held the lead through to his mandatory pit-stop, the team calling him in at the end of lap 10. A well executed stop looked like giving Kerr the lead once the field had cycled through but a pass by New Zealand's Reid on lap 16 held the Brit in third with the leading car of A1 Team USA still to pit.
With the Jonathan Summerton pitting the American entry on the next lap Reid assumed the lead with Kerr placed second two seconds behind the Kiwi racer. At the halfway stage the gap had increased but a third safety car period on lap 25 eradicated Reid's five second advantage over Kerr in second and Germany's Nico Hulkenberg in third. The final third of the race turned into a sprint to the chequered with Robbie putting in a determined display to keep New Zealand firmly in his sights. Gradually closing the gap, Kerr's hopes of a last lap move were dashed as the race was called on time, one lap short of the predicted 40 laps.
Reid scored his third win of the season for New Zealand with Kerr second for Great Britain ahead of third placed Nico Hulkenberg -- the German's performance, combined with his eight series wins to-date, enough to guarantee his country's first A1GP World Championship crown.
Reflecting on his best-ever weekend in A1GP Kerr said, "Well it's great to finally get a win, I'm really happy! It's a shame I couldn't get the double but second in the Feature's still a good result and helps cement our standing in the points. The Sprint race was really all about making no mistakes and controlling the pace which I did. We definitely had a quicker car towards the end of the Feature but I just couldn't quite get close enough."
"All in all it's been a good weekend," commented Team Principal John Surtees. "Robbie drove a very controlled Sprint race off the back of a very special pole-winning lap yesterday. He was very strong towards the end of the Feature but we just didn't quite have the top speed to make a move. Overall his performance today was faultless; the win's great for his morale and our recent successes bode well heading to Brands Hatch for the home finale."
The 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport concludes with Round 11 hosted at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in Great Britain, Friday 27th -- Sunday 29th April
-credit: team gbr