2006-07 A1GP Season Review -- Part Four A1 Team Canada wrapped the second season of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport with Vancouver's Sean McIntosh back in the race seat for the final two events held in China and Great Britain in April. With...
2006-07 A1GP Season Review -- Part Four
A1 Team Canada wrapped the second season of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport with Vancouver's Sean McIntosh back in the race seat for the final two events held in China and Great Britain in April. With Quebec's Kevin Lacroix continuing to fulfill rookie duties on the Friday morning of each event, the Canadian team focused on trying to emulate its tenth place finish in the 2005-06 A1GP Nations Standings.
Round 10 -- Shanghai International Circuit, China, Sunday 15th April 2007
China's stunning Shanghai International Circuit, home of the 'Chinese Grand Prix', played host to the penultimate round of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. Canada welcomed back Sean McIntosh to the driver's seat with James Hinchcliffe concentrating on his 2007 Champ Car Atlantic Championship campaign.
McIntosh, to-date the only Canadian to have graced the top-step of an A1GP podium, missed out on the previous visit to the Shanghai facility a year before when it hosted the 2005-06 season finale due to the start of his 2006 World Series by Renault commitments. Champ Car veteran Patrick Carpentier represented Canada on that occasion scoring a seventh place Feature finish after DNF'ing the Sprint.
This season's event was almost a carbon copy of the 2006 race with McIntosh, having qualified the Canadian car inside the top-ten for the first time since Round 6 back in January, taken out in the earlier Sprint race before going on to record a sixth place finish in the Feature -- also scoring points for the team for the first time since Hinchcliffe's brace of sixth place finishes in Round 6 in New Zealand.
Canada Driver Reflection, Sean McIntosh:
"As always it was great to get back into the A1GP car. I hadn't raced it since Indonesia at the end of 2006 so I was excited to get back into the swing of things for Canada. To go to a track like Shanghai was unbelievable. The facility is second to none and it was great to experience a new culture as I missed out on the previous two A1GP races held in China due to additional racing commitments.
"The weekend went quite well considering I hadn't been in the car for a few months. Naturally I'd have liked to have qualified a little higher, that was one of my goals but we had the car back in the top-ten which was a positive. Unfortunately in the Sprint race I was taken out so I had to make things exciting with another signature drive from the back of the grid to the front in the Feature. It was great to score another solid top-six finish for the team and I had a lot of fun driving that weekend."
Round 10, China, Fast Facts:
Pole Winner: A1 Team Great Britain (Robbie Kerr) -- 3m10.138s
A1 Team Canada Qualifying: 9th (Sean McIntosh -- 3m11.855s
Sprint Race Winner (10 Laps): A1 Team Great Britain (Robbie Kerr)
Sprint Top-3: 1st Great Britain (Robbie Kerr), 2nd New Zealand (Jonny Reid), 3rd Germany (Nico Hulkenberg)
A1 Team Canada Sprint Race Result: DNF - Contact (Sean McIntosh) -- 0pts
Feature Race Winner (38 Laps): A1 Team New Zealand (Jonny Reid)
Feature Top-3: 1st New Zealand (Jonny Reid), 2nd Great Britain (Robbie Kerr), 3rd Germany (Nico Hulkenberg)
A1 Team Canada Feature Race Result: 6th (Sean McIntosh) -- 5pts
A1GP Points Leader after Round 10: A1 Team Germany (113pts) -- CROWNED CHAMPIONS
A1 Team Canada Points Standing: 11th - (33pts)
Round 11 -- Brands Hatch Circuit, Great Britain, Sunday 29th April 2007
The Canadian team arrived at the season finale in Great Britain just two points shy of a top-ten placing, trailing A1 Team Mexico 35-33 with just two more points scoring opportunities available to match their Nations Standing placing from the year before. Having hosted the very first A1GP race meeting back in September 2005, Kent's Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit once again bristled with national pride as the British got behind their team and race-winning driver Robbie Kerr.
Kerr failed to disappoint the home support, capturing the first ever home pole position in A1GP and backing that up with an historic home win the following day in the Sprint race -- another A1GP first. An epic battle between the recently crowned 2006-07 A1GP World Champions, A1 Team Germany and A1 Team Great Britain followed in the Feature race, rookie sensation Nico Hulkenberg beating Kerr to the checkered for his ninth win of the season while denying the Brit a memorable home double.
Canada's weekend was less successful. McIntosh cracked the top-ten in the Sprint having started 14th after a disappointing qualifying session but a tire related issue robbed the Vancouver-native of a potential top-six finish in the Feature, the Canadian taking the flag out of the points in 12th. Ultimately the team ended the season in 11th place, just two points off of Mexico who held tenth at Brands Hatch.
Canada Driver Reflection, Sean McIntosh:
"Brands Hatch was where it all began for me with A1GP back at the inaugural race there in 2005. I'd raced in England for a couple of seasons as well so other than racing in Canada this was the closest thing to me to a home race. It was great to be back and Friday's practice went okay but then we just really struggled to get any pace out of the car in Saturday's qualifying session.
"Things improved a little on the Sunday and in the Feature our race pace wasn't bad, it was close to how we were running on the Friday. I had a good battle with the American car to get out of pit-lane which caused a bit of excitement for all the fans that were there. Unfortunately we couldn't do much about the tire that was defective and that potentially robbed of us another top-six finish. Overall though it was another great season of racing in A1GP with the competition level a lot stronger across the board. The hype surrounding A1GP gathered and people were excited with the on-track product."
Round 11, Great Britain, Fast Facts:
Pole Winner: A1 Team Great Britain (Robbie Kerr) -- 2m28.899s
A1 Team Canada Qualifying: 14th (Sean McIntosh) -- 2m30.928s
Sprint Race Winner (15 Laps): A1 Team Great Britain (Robbie Kerr)
Sprint Top-3: 1st Great Britain (Robbie Kerr), 2nd Germany (Nico Hulkenberg), 3rd Italy (Enrico Toccacelo)
A1 Team Canada Sprint Race Result: 10th (Sean McIntosh) -- 0pts
Feature Race Winner (50 Laps): A1 Team Germany (Nico Hulkenberg)
Feature Top-3: 1st Germany (Nico Hulkenberg), 2nd Great Britain (Robbie Kerr), 3rd Italy (Enrico Toccacelo)
A1 Team Canada Feature Race Result: 12th (Sean McIntosh) -- 0pts
A1GP World Cup of Motorsport Champions: A1 Team Germany (128pts)
A1 Team Canada Final Points Standing: 11th -- (33pts)