Double points score for A1 Team GBR as A1GP kicks off in Holland Zandvoort, Holland (October 1, 2006) -- A1 Team Great Britain scored in both the Sprint and Feature races today, fifth and seventh place finishes respectively, as the 2006-07 A1GP...
Double points score for A1 Team GBR as A1GP kicks off in Holland
Zandvoort, Holland (October 1, 2006) -- A1 Team Great Britain scored in both the Sprint and Feature races today, fifth and seventh place finishes respectively, as the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport launched before a sell-out Dutch crowd. Weather proved to be the decisive factor at Zandvoort but Darren Manning's efforts behind the wheel of the British entry sets the team seventh in the A1GP Nations Standings heading to Round 2 next weekend at Brno in the Czech Republic.
Sprint Race, 12 laps (Winner -- A1 Team South Africa, Adrian Zaugg)
Darren Manning opened A1 Team GBR's scoring account with two points for a fifth place finish in the morning's 12-lap Sprint race round the 2.6-mile, 11-turn Zandvoort track. The Yorkshireman, starting fifth following A1 Team Switzerland's post-qualifying penalty, briefly dropped a place to sixth on the opening lap but fought back to regain his starting slot ahead of the second tour. From there he chased the leaders, oversteer a factor on the slick track, but his race proved to be a lonely affair holding fifth over A1 Team New Zealand in sixth, the gap between them at the checkered almost three seconds.
Feature Race, 41 laps (Winner -- A1 Team Germany, Nico Hulkenberg)
Up to fourth at the start of the 70-minute Feature race it wasn't long before Manning found himself in a podium position. The first team to make their mandatory pit stop, Manning pitted the A1 Team GBR car from third and with the subsequent safety car period on lap 11 effectively meant he would assume control of the race once the field completed their stops. The race was then turned on its head by a sudden thunderstorm, allowing those who hadn't stopped to seize the advantage and put a set of wet tyres on, Manning eventually following suit. With the track drying in the later stages a third trip to the pits was required for a set of slicks with Darren successfully keeping the British entry in the top-ten, taking seventh at the flag and four more points to add to A1 Team GBR's morning tally.
A1 Team GBR Team Principal, John Surtees:
"Well it looked like fortune might have been on our side at one stage but it turned sour when it rained as it allowed those who hadn't stopped to come in for wets! We ended up making three stops but importantly we scored twice today to put a decent foundation down to get the season started."
"We made some changes to make the car a bit more competitive for the second race and we ran well at the start climbing to third, almost taking the lead at the first turn. We were ahead of the game with the way the safety car initially played out but the rain put paid to that. Overall though we know we can compete at the sharp end and now we have an idea of where the competition's at."
Round 2 takes place next weekend, 6-8 October, at Brno in the Czech Republic -- www.a1gp.com