Debutant Duval earns France two podiums Sunday, January 21, 2007 A1 Team France rookie Loic Duval finished second in the sprint race at Taupo and went on to finish second in the 50-lap feature race. In front of huge crowds Duval kept his nerve...
Debutant Duval earns France two podiums
Sunday, January 21, 2007 A1 Team France rookie Loic Duval finished second in the sprint race at Taupo and went on to finish second in the 50-lap feature race. In front of huge crowds Duval kept his nerve on his race debut for A1 Team France. The 16 points he won takes France into second place in the championship on 46 points.
The 15-lap sprint race started under very strong winds. The first start was aborted and after new formation lap, Germany's Nico Hulkenberg kept the lead with Loic Duval in second position. "I did not take any risks," Duval explained. "I made a good start for the sprint race. Nico was a little bit earlier on the throttle so I was second. I was a little bit faster than him but it was not possible to overtake him. Finishing in second place, I am earning good points and I am on the podium."
Finishing second again on the podium in the feature race, Loic Duval added: "I had a good start but again could not overtake Germany. It is easy to crash in the first corner, so I was careful. After three laps he was too far away to be caught. I stopped shortly after him for our pit stop and maintained a strong second position in the race. With 33 laps to go New Zealand's Jonny Reid started catching me on the narrow track and was trying to get me to make a mistake, but I resisted his pressure. I was hoping that he would get distracted as Switzerland and Netherlands closed in on him. I was determined to finish well despite the pressure, saw that Reid made a couple of mistakes and continued my race to keep fighting for my second position in this tough feature race. Overall it was a good race and a tough fight with Hulkenberg all the way through. This race is very physical and I am a bit exhausted and have to be careful not to dehydrate. Now I will fly back to Japan for testing in Formula Nippon and GT. Then I will spend a week of intensive training organized by the French Federation FFSA in Dubai with some of the other young French drivers."
Jean-Paul Driot, Team Principal, A1 Team France added: "Loic Duval drove two great races for team France today. To finish second in the sprint race was the right thing to do to keep the front row for the start of the feature race. In the feature race, Loic showed his qualities as a fighter resisting to Reid's efforts. These two podiums are a brilliant result for the day. I'm very happy for Loic and for the team."
The seventh race will be in Sydney, Australia on Sunday February 4th, 2007.
-credit: team france