Double A1GP podium for Watts DOUBLE PODIUM FOR WATTS A1 Team Korea join forces with A1 Team China
A1GP Chengdu, China (Round 2 of 10)
Adam Carroll drove a faultless race to take A1 Team Irelands second series victory in Chengdu, China yesterday. A1 Team Netherlands , Robert Doornbos came home a comfortable second, while Danny Watts held off a fierce challenge from Switzerlands Neel Jani to claim the final podium position for A1 Team Great Britain.
As the cars came round the final corner for the rolling start, Carroll controlled the pack with Netherlands Doornbos making a good start alongside him to challenge into the first corner. Carroll held his line and by the end of the first lap had built up a 0.918s lead which he never looked in danger of relinquishing.
It an was impressive drive from Robert Doornbos on his debut for A1 Team Netherlands taking a comfortable second position, the teams best result in 19 races.
A1 Team Great Britains Watts, also having his first A1GP race, made a move around the outside of Switzerlands Jani to take third position off the start and began to pull out a small gap.
In the closing laps of the 18-lap race, the battle for third began to heat up as Switzerlands Jani closed in on the British car. Watts advantage over the Swiss driver was down to 0.686 seconds and Jani was preparing to make a move. In the final two laps the tension mounted but the experienced Watts held position, taking the first points of the season for A1 Team GBR.
Out at the front Carrolls superb drive saw the Celtic Tiger cross the line two seconds ahead of the chasing pack, the dominance underlined as he continued to set fastest lap after fastest lap, eventually taking the extra point for his efforts on lap 16, a 1m 16.084s.
South Africas Adrian Zaugg brought Vulindlela home in fifth ahead of Portugals Filipe Albuquerque. New Zealands Chris van der Drift, also on his race debut, brought Black Beauty home in the final points-paying position.
Chinas Ho-Pin Tung had a spin on the first lap putting him further down the order. He made his way back to a lowly 17th and is looking to improve in front of his home crowd in this afternoons Feature race.
Brazil had electrical problems causing it to drop down the order and at one point stop out on track but, as the safety car waited on stand-by, Felipe Guimares managed to crawl back to the pit lane.
Its brilliant, said Carroll The guys have worked so hard and were due the results and this year I think we are going to get what we deserve.
I managed to get into turn one first and tried control it from there, said Irelands Carroll. Obviously, I knew Robert was going to be very quick and pushing extremely hard so I just kept my head down and tried not to make any mistakes, I know its going to be a pretty long race this afternoon.
Doornbos commented: It feels good, obviously, its the best impression you can make. We started strong, just missing pole by six thousandths, and in the race it was the same. We kept each other alive going into turn one, which is important because there is another race, but with second place, I am very happy. I think we had a strong pace compared to the rest of the field so we can be proud of this result.
Great Britains Danny Watts said: Its a great result and a great reward for all the hard work all the boys have put in over the week, because they have put in a massive amount of hours through the nights. The third place is good points on the board.
I had a good move round the outside of Jani at the first corner and I just had to pursue it. After that it was just a case of trying to hold onto the back of these two (Carroll and Doornbos). I had to keep it clean and tidy and not let Jani by again.
The cars now prepare for this afternoons Feature race. Great Britain is on pole and hoping to take victory from Ireland, who are also starting from the front row and will be eager to make it back onto the top step of the podium.
Sprint race results
Pos A1 Team / Driver / Laps Time // Gap First1 IRELAND Adam CARROLL 18 22:58.470 -2 NETHERLANDS Robert DOORNBOS 18 23:00.507 2.0373 GREAT BRITAIN Danny WATTS 18 23:12.831 14.3614 SWITZERLAND Neel JANI 18 23:13.089 14.6195 SOUTH AFRICA Adrian ZAUGG 18 23:18.578 20.1086 PORTUGAL Filipe ALBUQUERQUE 18 23:18.945 20.4757 NEW ZEALAND Chris VAN DER DRIFT 18 23:25.694 27.2248 FRANCE Nicolas PROST 18 23:26.393 27.9239 MONACO Clivio PICCIONE 18 23:28.848 30.37810 INDIA Narain KARTHIKEYAN 18 23:30.738 32.26811 AUSTRALIA John MARTIN 18 23:31.668 33.19812 LEBANON Daniel MORAD 18 23:32.763 34.29313 MALAYSIA Fairuz FAUZY 18 23:33.125 34.65514 ITALY Edoardo PISCOPO 18 23:35.011 36.54115 USA Marco ANDRETTI 18 23:36.572 38.10216 MEXICO David GARZA 18 23:40.981 42.51117 CHINA Ho Pin TUN 18 23:48.081 49.61118 INDONESIA Satrio HERMANTO 18 24:02.598 +1:04.12819 KOREA Jin Woo HWANG 18 24:04.641 +1:06.17120 BRAZIL Felipe GUIMARAES 14 23:49.356 4 Laps
Fastest lap: A1 Team IRL set the fastest lap (1m16.084s) of the Sprint race with a speed of 157.6 kph on lap 17.
2008/09 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport points standings
Pos A1 Team/ Points1 France 232 Malaysia 223 New Zealand 204 Netherlands 195 Ireland 116 Switzerland 97 Australia 88 South Africa 79 Great Britain 610 Monaco 511 Korea 412 Portugal 313 Lebanon 314 USA 315 Italy 216 China 217 India 018 Indonesia 019 Brazil 020 Mexico 0