Second victory of the season for A1 Team Germany Having clinched its first victory of the season in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in Zhuhai in December, Willi Weber's A1 Team Germany added another victory to its tally in the fifth round at ...
Second victory of the season for A1 Team Germany
Having clinched its first victory of the season in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in Zhuhai in December, Willi Weber's A1 Team Germany added another victory to its tally in the fifth round at Taupo in New Zealand thanks to the performances from both driver and team. Christian Vietoris from Gonnersdorf in Germany celebrated his inaugural A1GP victory in the feature race, thus putting Germany back in the race for the title. Willi Weber's team that has won the A1 GP World Cup of Motorsport last season rose from eighth to fourth in the overall points standings at mid-season now.
In bullish mood, Christian Vietoris set off into the sprint race to make up for lost ground in qualifying. He had achieved the fourth fastest time the previous day in qualifying for the sprint race before missing out on pole position by only 0.035s half an hour later when qualifying second for the feature race. In the sprint race, the 18 year-old driver attacked the South African car in the first lap before the safety car came out. Thereafter, Germany quickly closed in on France and South Africa, overtook the opposition and was second by lap six. On his way to his first ever podium finish in A1GP, Christian Vietoris secured an additional point for the fastest sprint race lap.
In the feature race, Christian Vietoris staid behind France after the start. In lap nine, A1 Team Germany made its first mandatory pitstop. David Sears Motorsport, the squad that runs the 550hp A1GP car, made a slick pitstop several seconds faster than France, allowing Germany to take the lead on the track. In lap 35, Christian Vietoris pitted for the second time. Again, his crew was quicker than France which dropped to third place on the track behind Germany and Canada. After 50 laps on the 3.5 kilometre circuit located on New Zealand's picturesque Northern Island, A1 Team Germany took a solid first feature race win of the season by a 1.1s margin. Scoring a massive 28 points this weekend, Willi Weber's outfit jumped from eighth to fourth position in the standings. With only 17 points separating the first four teams and a maximum of 32 points to be allocated every weekend for the best team, the title race is wide open at mid-season with five events remaining in the next three months.
"I have felt a lot of pressure coming off me now that I have won for the first time! The A1GP victory at Taupo feels great, in particular as we've won the feature race which is more difficult than the sprint race. Sunday started well with second place in the sprint race after a nice and fair fight with France and a battle with South Africa. In the feature race, it was the pit crew that has helped me overtaking France. A big thanks to all the guys from David Sears Motorsport who have worked so well. I have to admit that I wasn't driving at the limit because of vibrations coming from every set of tyres, but it was no problem as overtaking is particularly difficult at Taupo so the win was not at risk when I've decided to take it a bit easier."
"This is simply great: After Michael Ammermuller's win in China, the team has secured a back-to-back win in New Zealand with Christian Vietoris. It shows our general driver choice was right, and our policy of nominating them for different events as well. But today's race has not only been won by strong performances on the track. The David Sears Motorsport team has done an excellent job in setting the car up and performing two brillant pitstops which helped Christian getting past France in the battle for the lead. Now we're back in the thick of the action. The title race is wide open, and A1 Team Germany's claim to defend its title has become much more realistic now after a slow start to the season."