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Rediff.com  » Sports » France win German A1GP

France win German A1GP

October 10, 2005 17:23 IST

It was a close fought, incident packed race that was watched by 34,000 noisy fans at the impressive EuroSpeedway Lausitz circuit in Lausitz, Germany. The country whose national anthem was played on the winner's podium for the second time this weekend was France, with Great Britain and Canada second and third, each taking their first podium of the A1 Grand Prix series.

When the starting lights went out and the cars rushed into turn 1, it was Team Switzerland, who got the best start, with France in close attendance. As the cars crossed the start-finish line for the first time, it was Team Malaysia completing the top three with Brazil in fourth. However, Team France soon opted to use the PowerBoost button and the red, white and blue car overtook Switzerland on lap 4. In the meantime, Team Brazil had moved ahead of Malaysia and the German fans were given something to cheer for as their car moved into fourth on lap two and third on lap 8.

The order at the front remained the same until France pitted and it was Team Switzerland that crossed the line first at the end of lap 16. Sadly for Switzerland, a long pit stop put them out of contention and France re-took the lead they were never to give up on lap 21.

One of the drives of the race was by Team Great Britain. With their car having started last, by the end of lap two it was seventeenth, by the end of lap 10 eleventh, by the end of lap 15 sixth and by the end of lap 21. Team Canada's driver also moved up through the field after starting from seventh on the grid and like Great Britain moved into a podium position on lap 21.

There was one safety car period after Team India stopped on the start-finish straight after 19 laps and the car had to be retrieved. Team Malaysia received a drive through penalty for overtaking during this period. This was not the only team to be penalised during the race, as Team Czech Republic received a drive through for a jump-start and Team Brazil, the same penalty for a pit stop infringement. Unfortunately that was not the end of Brazil's problems, as at the restart after the safety car period, they had to retire after a collision.

It was another miserable weekend for Team United States with Scott Speed being an early retirement in both races. In the Sprint race it was a retirement at turn 1 while in the feature race, at the end of lap 2 the car drove into the garage.

Khalil Beschir, who made a name for himself at Brands Hatch after a spectacular crash, gave Team Lebanon their best result to date despite severe handling problems and an extra pit stop.

Feature race results:
Pos. A1 Team Driver Time
1 France Nicolas Lapierre 58:45.700
2 Great Britain Robbie Kerr 58:49.406
3 Canada Sean McIntosh 58:51.158
4 New Zealand Jonny Reid 58:51.674
5 Switzerland Neel Jani 58:52.771
6 Ireland Ralph Firman 58:53.781
7 Netherlands Jos Verstappen 58:55.322
8 Indonesia Ananda Mikola 59:02.406
9 Japan Hideki Noda 59:05.044
10 Germany Timo Scheider 59:07.560
11 Portugal Alvaro Parente 59:10.440
12 Pakistan Adam Khan 59:10.966
13 Mexico David Martinez 59:14.878
14 Australia Christian Jones 59:16.590
15 Austria Mathias Lauda 59:16.832
16 Malaysia Alex Yoong 59:31.081
17 China Jiang 1:00:03.141
18 Lebanon Khalil Beschhir 33 laps
19 Czech Rep Tomas Enge 27 laps
20 Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr 26 laps
21 India Karun Chandhok 19 laps
22 South Africa Tomas Scheckter 15 laps
23 Italy Enrico Toccacelo 11 laps
24 USA Scott Speed 4 laps

Championship points:
Pos. Team Points
1 Brazil 30
3 New Zealand 29
4 Switzerland 17
5 Australia 16
6 Mexico 16
7 Great Britain 15
8 Canada 14
9 Malaysia 11
10 Germany 8
11 Ireland 8
12 Netherlands 8
13 Japan 6
14 South Africa 5
15 Pakistan 4
16 Indonesia 3
17 Portugal 3