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A1GP New Zealand Takes Sublime Sprint Race Win

Czech Republic - A1 Team New Zealand's Jonny Reid raced to a sensational victory at Brno this morning at round two of the 2007/08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport season in the Czech Republic, dominating from the first corner to the end of the 10 lap race. Great Britain's Robbie Kerr and Ireland's A1GP debutant Adam Carroll joined Reid on the podium in second and third position respectively.

Reid took the advantage from second on the grid on the run into the first corner of the Sprint race in perfect weather conditions, as pole-sitter South Africa fell back three places to fourth behind a thrilling scrap for second between A1 Team Great Britain and Ireland.

Kerr managed to hold off the Irish rookie but the pair continued to battle and make contact as Reid started to streak away in 'Black Beauty', edging out a two second lead by the end of lap three. The 23-year-old racer from Auckland was never under threat as the pack settled down behind him and concentrated on their own fights for on-track position.

Nicolas Lapierre made an incredible start in the French car, carving his way through the field from 10th place to sixth behind the Netherlands' Jeroen Bleekemolen on the opening lap. The Frenchman made several attempts to snatch fifth from the Dutch star but the pair remained in fifth and sixth position behind fourth-placed Adrian Zaugg when they crossed the line.

German rookie Christian Vietoris managed to hold off the more experienced Neel Jani in the Swiss car, taking seventh place and a valuable four points. Portugal's Joao Urbano and China's Congfu Cheng took the final points-paying positions, finishing ninth and tenth respectively.

Reid went on to win the 10 lap race by a commanding six seconds from second-placed Kerr, closely followed by Carroll in third, who was sensational in his maiden A1GP race.

Commenting on his fourth A1GP race win, Reid said:

'We made a good start, South Africa was slightly in front of me and then I just pulled in close and got a bit of draft and I was on a good line for the breaking area. South Africa had to defend from Great Britain and I was able to go right around the outside. The guys are working so hard this weekend and we've got to keep a good balance on the car. We are out there to win and we're looking forward to the Feature race for sure.'

Following Great Britain's winning start to the season at Zandvoort two weeks ago, Kerr was pleased to finish on the podium and pick up some more championship points for Team GBR. The 28-year-old said:

'I was on the tighter line going into the first corner which didn't give me the exit and allowed Adam to come round the outside. It was a brave move by Adam and he pulled it off well, but then going into the next corner I knew I had to get ahead. I knew the car had the front grip to do it and Adam tried to come back, but unfortunately for him we both ran out of room and I took position. It was a great first lap and great battling with Adam. I'm just looking forward to the Feature race now. We need to make a few improvements to the car but we know what we've got to do. We're fairly happy with where we are.'

Carroll, who suffered from damage sustained to the Irish charger during his first lap tussle with GBR's Robbie Kerr, was delighted to score A1 Team Ireland's first podium finish since the Portugal Feature race in season one:

'It was pretty good. I got a good tow off Jonny down into turn one on the PowerBoost. The guys held quite a tight line so with the slipstream I was able to pull out and actually get right up alongside Jonny. I went into turn one and Robbie was tight and I just went around the outside. I think that's when he hit the bump on the inside that forced the rear of the car out and he tapped me, and that's what put me a little bit wide.'

On whether this was just beginner's luck, Carroll commented:

'We're not going to need luck this year, we're going to do it on pace because the guys have done such a good job. They're working really hard and for the Feature race, even though we're starting down at the back, hopefully we will have the pace and we can come through to a good position.'

Canada's James Hinchcliffe was on fine form, quietly climbing from 20th on the grid and staying out of trouble to finish 12th behind Brazil's Sergio Jimenez.

It was a quiet race for home nation rookie driver Erik Janis who brought the Czech Republic car home in 18th position having started the 20 minute race in 21st.

Ian Dyk was forced to park the Australian car in the garage on lap three after it was hit by debris when A1 Team Lebanon ran wide directly in front of him. The car sustained considerable damage but A1 Team Australia are confident they will be able to repair it in time for the Feature race, which starts at 15:00 this afternoon.

Sprint race results

Pos

Driver

A1 Team

Time

Gap First

1

Jonny REID

NEW ZEALAND

18:11.609

-

2

Robbie KERR

GREAT BRITAIN

18:17.561

+5.952

3

Adam CARROLL

IRELAND

18:20.433

+8.824

4

Adrian ZAUGG

SOUTH AFRICA

18:21.878

+10.269

5

Jeroen BLEEKEMOLEN

NETHERLANDS

18:23.170

+11.561

6

Nicolas LAPIERRE

FRANCE

18:23.412

+11.803

7

Christian VIETORIS

GERMANY

18:24.809

+13.200

8

Neel JANI

SWITZERLAND

18:25.056

+13.447

9

Joao URBANO

PORTUGAL

18:30.179

+18.570

10

Congfu CHENG

CHINA

18:30.410

+18.801

11

Sergio JIMENEZ

BRAZIL

18:33.781

+22.172

12

James HINCHCLIFFE

CANADA

18:35.605

+23.996

13

Michel JOURDAIN

MEXICO

18:36.536

+24.927

14

Enrico TOCCACELO

ITALY

18:37.531

+25.922

15

Adam KHAN

PAKISTAN

18:40.372

+28.763

16

Buddy RICE

USA

18:42.685

+31.076

17

Alex YOONG

MALAYSIA

18:45.270

+33.661

18

Erik JANIS

CZECH REPUBLIC

18:46.324

+34.715

19

Satrio HERMANTO

INDONESIA

18:59.798

+48.189

20

Khalil BESCHIR

LEBANON

19:01.439

+49.830

21

Narain KARTHIKEYAN

INDIA

19:49.425

+1:37.816

22

Ian DYK

AUSTRALIA

3 laps

7 Laps

Fastest lap: A1 Team New Zealand set the fastest lap (1m48.438s) of the Sprint race on lap five.

A1GP South Africa and Netherlands on Pole at Brno

Czech Republic - A1 Team New Zealand's Jonny Reid raced to a sensational victory at Brno this morning at round two of the 2007/08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport season in the Czech Republic, dominating from the first corner to the end of the 10 lap race. Great Britain's Robbie Kerr and Ireland's A1GP debutant Adam Carroll joined Reid on the podium in second and third position respectively.

Reid took the advantage from second on the grid on the run into the first corner of the Sprint race in perfect weather conditions, as pole-sitter South Africa fell back three places to fourth behind a thrilling scrap for second between A1 Team Great Britain and Ireland.

Kerr managed to hold off the Irish rookie but the pair continued to battle and make contact as Reid started to streak away in 'Black Beauty', edging out a two second lead by the end of lap three. The 23-year-old racer from Auckland was never under threat as the pack settled down behind him and concentrated on their own fights for on-track position.

Nicolas Lapierre made an incredible start in the French car, carving his way through the field from 10th place to sixth behind the Netherlands' Jeroen Bleekemolen on the opening lap. The Frenchman made several attempts to snatch fifth from the Dutch star but the pair remained in fifth and sixth position behind fourth-placed Adrian Zaugg when they crossed the line.

German rookie Christian Vietoris managed to hold off the more experienced Neel Jani in the Swiss car, taking seventh place and a valuable four points. Portugal's Joao Urbano and China's Congfu Cheng took the final points-paying positions, finishing ninth and tenth respectively.

Reid went on to win the 10 lap race by a commanding six seconds from second-placed Kerr, closely followed by Carroll in third, who was sensational in his maiden A1GP race.

Commenting on his fourth A1GP race win, Reid said:

'We made a good start, South Africa was slightly in front of me and then I just pulled in close and got a bit of draft and I was on a good line for the breaking area. South Africa had to defend from Great Britain and I was able to go right around the outside. The guys are working so hard this weekend and we've got to keep a good balance on the car. We are out there to win and we're looking forward to the Feature race for sure.'

Following Great Britain's winning start to the season at Zandvoort two weeks ago, Kerr was pleased to finish on the podium and pick up some more championship points for Team GBR. The 28-year-old said:

'I was on the tighter line going into the first corner which didn't give me the exit and allowed Adam to come round the outside. It was a brave move by Adam and he pulled it off well, but then going into the next corner I knew I had to get ahead. I knew the car had the front grip to do it and Adam tried to come back, but unfortunately for him we both ran out of room and I took position. It was a great first lap and great battling with Adam. I'm just looking forward to the Feature race now. We need to make a few improvements to the car but we know what we've got to do. We're fairly happy with where we are.'

Carroll, who suffered from damage sustained to the Irish charger during his first lap tussle with GBR's Robbie Kerr, was delighted to score A1 Team Ireland's first podium finish since the Portugal Feature race in season one:

'It was pretty good. I got a good tow off Jonny down into turn one on the PowerBoost. The guys held quite a tight line so with the slipstream I was able to pull out and actually get right up alongside Jonny. I went into turn one and Robbie was tight and I just went around the outside. I think that's when he hit the bump on the inside that forced the rear of the car out and he tapped me, and that's what put me a little bit wide.'

On whether this was just beginner's luck, Carroll commented:

'We're not going to need luck this year, we're going to do it on pace because the guys have done such a good job. They're working really hard and for the Feature race, even though we're starting down at the back, hopefully we will have the pace and we can come through to a good position.'

Canada's James Hinchcliffe was on fine form, quietly climbing from 20th on the grid and staying out of trouble to finish 12th behind Brazil's Sergio Jimenez.

It was a quiet race for home nation rookie driver Erik Janis who brought the Czech Republic car home in 18th position having started the 20 minute race in 21st.

Ian Dyk was forced to park the Australian car in the garage on lap three after it was hit by debris when A1 Team Lebanon ran wide directly in front of him. The car sustained considerable damage but A1 Team Australia are confident they will be able to repair it in time for the Feature race, which starts at 15:00 this afternoon.

Sprint race results

Pos

Driver

A1 Team

Time

Gap First

1

Jonny REID

NEW ZEALAND

18:11.609

-

2

Robbie KERR

GREAT BRITAIN

18:17.561

+5.952

3

Adam CARROLL

IRELAND

18:20.433

+8.824

4

Adrian ZAUGG

SOUTH AFRICA

18:21.878

+10.269

5

Jeroen BLEEKEMOLEN

NETHERLANDS

18:23.170

+11.561

6

Nicolas LAPIERRE

FRANCE

18:23.412

+11.803

7

Christian VIETORIS

GERMANY

18:24.809

+13.200

8

Neel JANI

SWITZERLAND

18:25.056

+13.447

9

Joao URBANO

PORTUGAL

18:30.179

+18.570

10

Congfu CHENG

CHINA

18:30.410

+18.801

11

Sergio JIMENEZ

BRAZIL

18:33.781

+22.172

12

James HINCHCLIFFE

CANADA

18:35.605

+23.996

13

Michel JOURDAIN

MEXICO

18:36.536

+24.927

14

Enrico TOCCACELO

ITALY

18:37.531

+25.922

15

Adam KHAN

PAKISTAN

18:40.372

+28.763

16

Buddy RICE

USA

18:42.685

+31.076

17

Alex YOONG

MALAYSIA

18:45.270

+33.661

18

Erik JANIS

CZECH REPUBLIC

18:46.324

+34.715

19

Satrio HERMANTO

INDONESIA

18:59.798

+48.189

20

Khalil BESCHIR

LEBANON

19:01.439

+49.830

21

Narain KARTHIKEYAN

INDIA

19:49.425

+1:37.816

22

Ian DYK

AUSTRALIA

3 laps

7 Laps

Fastest lap: A1 Team New Zealand set the fastest lap (1m48.438s) of the Sprint race on lap five.

THIS WEEK IN F1

All the facts, fiction, rumour and innuendo….

 

  This week in F1 it rained. Then it rained some more. And then it rained really hard. In this case the rain on the plain fell mainly on the Spaniard. Alonso’s hopes of three titles in a row took a bit of a soaking as he planted the McLaren arse first into the tyre wall at turn six of the Fuji International Raceway handing team-mate (and I use the word in it’s loosest possible context) another win and a twelve point lead in the championship with just two races to go.

 

  Hamilton had the edge over Alonso all weekend at Fuji and came away with the championship all but wrapped up. Even if Fernando wins both of the remaining races Lewis needs just nine points (second & eighth place, third & sixth or fourth & fifth) to become the sports only rookie champion. With his current form and the reliability that McLaren has shown thus far, it seems pretty unlikely that he could lose it from here. Still, stranger things have happened…

 

  Hamilton nicked pole at the very end of qualifying by just 7/100s of a second and apart from the tyre stop period, led the entire race. Or should I say apart from the tyre stop period and the lengthy periods behind the safety car. The race was 19 laps old when Hamilton finally became the first car on the road and by this time some fairly significant things had occurred. Ferrari for example had made a complete cock-up of its tyre choice sending both cars out on intermediates. After just three laps behind the safety car Felipe Massa had already shun, dropped to the back of the field and then made up the places, which is not allowed under yellow flags. A drive through penalty was awarded. It was then discovered that Ferrari had made an even bigger blunder. All teams had been advised that they actually didn’t have any choice when it came to their tyres at the start of the race and as the race was being started behind the safety car, all cars had to be on full wets. Both Ferraris had to pit to change onto the correct tyres and this left them at the rear of the field.

 

  They, along with several other cars, then pitted later in the safety car period to top up with fuel but for some reason did not take on enough to get them to the end of the race. The upshot was that when the green flag finally came out and the first four cars vanished into the distance, the Ferraris were wallowing about on heavy fuel loads with the same amount of pit stops to make as the front runners.

 

  The four cars vanishing into the distance was an unusual combination as well. Although the first two were McLarens, no great surprise there, the next two were Vettel in the Toro Rosso and Webber in the Red Bull. Doing a great job at holding up the following pack was Jenson Button in the Honda. Poor old Alex Wurz did his further career prospects no good at all losing it, and his front left wheel on the very first corner after the green flag was shown. Amazingly he didn’t take Massa with him despite clouting the Ferrari on the way through although that would not have made a huge difference to Felipe’s result on the day. It would, though, have robbed us of an excellent scrap between Massa and Robert Kubica over the final lap that was reminiscent of the Villeneuve/Arnoux wheel banging battle at Dijon in 1979. Like then too, Kubica said he thought it was great fun. Wonder what Massa thought about it, haven’t heard a quote from him yet.

 

  Alonso was the first to pit and came back out in traffic. Hamilton was next, and he did not, although he was behind both Renaults. This left us with the strange sight of Vettel in the Toro Rosso in the lead from Webber. A lead he held for four laps until pitting himself. Then it was Webber’s turn for glory and he spent five laps at the front before coming in. Those extra laps and an excellent turn around by the Red Bull pit crew meant that Webber emerged in fourth place and when the Renaults came in a few laps later it was Hamilton leading by just a few seconds from Webber, Vettel and Alonso in fourth. Webber then began applying the pressure and the gap dropped down to just two seconds before Alonso did his dance with the wall.

 

  Once again the safety car came out and with the gap now down to a matter of feet, Webber must have believed that here was his best ever chance of winning a Grand Prix so far. That is until he was clobbered from behind by Vettel who had been a bit erratic behind the safety car all day. The result was that Webber was out on the spot with only three wheels on his wagon and Vettel only made it back to the pits before retiring. The two Red Bull stable mates had just thrown away a pair of likely podium spots and a possible win. Vettel was inconsolable crying in the pits. Mark, understandably, was uncontrollably livid to have been taken out in such a stupid fashion. Naughty words were said in his interview. It’s probably a good thing that he had already thrown up in his helmet earlier in the race as this piece of bad luck would have been enough to make anyone sick, and chundering in front of a TV audience of millions may have been a bit embarrassing.

 

  In the end Hamilton had a comfortable win from the Renault of Heikki Kovalainen who just held off the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen who had put in one of those drives that only he is capable of, to come from the back of the field to third place. It was just enough to keep him in the title chase, but really only mathematically. David Coulthard salvaged what could have been a miserable day for Red Bull with a fine fourth place ahead of Fisichella in the other Renault. In sixth and seventh were Massa and Kubica after their titanic last lap duel and Vitantonio Liuzzi would have taken the final point for Toro Rosso had he not passed Adrian Sutil under yellow flags. The resultant 20 second penalty meant that Sutil and Spyker scored their first point of their respective careers.

 

  There may have been a lot of tooling about behind the safety car but there was an awful lot of action in the other forty odd laps. Didn’t get to see much of Mount Fuji though, unless you were there on Friday morning. There was a rumour going about that Toyota, who own the track, were going to have artificial snow pumped onto the peak to make it look more like the post cards. Not much point in the end. Oh, and here's a surprise, Ralf Schumacher has lost his Toyota drive for next year. One can’t see too many takers for his services in the future. The end of an era? It would be the first year since 1990 without a Schumacher on the grid.

 

Sam Snape

 

3-10-07

BARRY SHEENE MEMORIAL TROPHY PREVIEW

STAR LINE UP OF TOP MOTORCYCLISTS SET TO RACE AT THE GOODWOOD REVIVAL

Legendary motorcycles and top riders are set to star in this year’s Goodwood Revival meeting, taking place at the Goodwood Motor Circuit near Chichester from 31 August to 2 September.

The ever-popular Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy motorcycle race is always one of the most exciting and competitive events at the Goodwood Revival. This is the only historic motorcycle race in the world that regularly attracts Italian exotics such as Benelli, Ducati and Moto Guzzi in significant numbers. Battling against them will be British Manx Norton and Matchless machinery as well as early Hondas from the land of the rising sun.

 

Goodwood has lined up a host of famous motorcycle riders to race, including Isle of Man TT hero, John McGuiness, the first rider to break the outright TT lap record at over 130 mph per lap. He will compete against Moto GP rider Jeremy McWilliams, and BSB rider and fast man of road racing Michael Rutter, along with legendary champions of the sport Niall MacKenzie and Wayne Gardner. They will be joined by an array of racing heroes of yesteryear, including Stan Woods, Ron Chandler, Trevor Nation, and Eric Saul.

THE REVIVAL CAR SHOW

CAR PARKS BECOME PLEASURE PARKS AT THE GOODWOOD REVIVAL

The Goodwood Revival, due to be held from 31 August to 2 September this year, is world-renowned for the high calibre of its historic motor racing and nostalgic ‘magical step back in time’ atmosphere. To many of the expected 110,000 spectators, arriving at the event and parking up in an appropriate classic vehicle is as much a savoured part of the visiting this unique event as watching the close wheel-to-wheel motor racing, strolling through the paddocks, admiring the period fashions or enjoying the live music and entertainment.

Alongside the main Revival car parks, a highlight for many visitors is the stunning Revival Car Show, featuring over 1,000 pre-1966 cars driven to the event by spectators and guests. Presented in association with Classic and Sportscar magazine, the show is a major part of the Revival weekend, displaying a sensational selection of extraordinary cars that informed observers often say is better than many expensive, organised classic car shows. The variety of vehicles parked up is simply staggering, with something to satisfy every taste or dream. From familiar pre-War Austin 7s and Blower Bentleys, to post-War family saloons, ranging from Morris Minors to Rolls- Royce Phantoms, and all points in between, nostalgic memories come flooding back wherever you look. Visitors can expect to see many rare and exciting sports cars, such as the Ferrari 250 California Spyder and Jaguar XKSS, still as exotic today as they were back in their heyday.

 

Classic and Sportscar offer prizes for the best presented equipe at the Revival car Show, combining the perfect pre-1966 car with the correct period fashions, picnic rugs, hamper, champagne, cold scotch eggs and all the trimmings. All in all, it’s the perfect way to spend a late summer’s day in the English countryside, with Spitfires flying overhead, and the distant thrum of a motor race in full chat.