A1GP Sixth Place For GB in Series Finale

A1 Team Great Britain put up a good fight at the final round of the 2008/09 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport held at Brands Hatch circuit in Kent. A badly handling car stalled A1 Team Great Britain driver, Dan Clarke’s efforts to finish in the top ten of the Sprint race, with a 13th place finish as much as the team could achieve. In the Feature race Clarke showed more of his potential with fourth fastest lap of the race, a superb pass on Australia and seventh place finish. The British team finished tenth in the overall World Cup of Motorsport points standings.  

The opening lap of the Sprint race was a frantic rush through Paddock Hill Bend, with Clarke losing out as the field funnelled up to Druids, dropping back to 15th place. The British crew gave Clarke a quick stop and he was back out on track maintaining position. Lebanon spun off track, with New Zealand following the Arab car into the gravel, promoting Clarke to 13th place, a position he held until the chequered flag.

The Brit said after the Sprint race, “The car was just awful - it wasn't the team’s fault, we just didn’t have the car setup right. In qualifying I felt really good with the car but we got to the Sprint race and I just couldn't do anything with it. We just had to go out and get to the chequered flag.”

Clarke and the team reviewed the data between the two races, making set up changes to improve the balance of the car. The afternoon Feature race start provided the British crowd with plenty of dramatic racing. India, China and Germany were all involved in a first corner tangle that Clarke raced past and into ninth position by the end of the opening lap. The safety car was deployed to retrieve two stranded cars and by the end of lap six Great Britain were lying in eighth place. The first round of pitstops passed smoothly and with new tyres Clarke showed his pace, clocking blistering lap times which gave him an opportunity to overtake Australia for seventh place. The second round of stops kept Clarke in seventh, a position he held despite a vibration and an exhaust problem which gave Clarke cause for concern. En route to his seventh finish Clarke posted fourth fastest lap of the race.

Clarke said after the Feature race, “I'm pleased with that, it felt good crossing the line at the end there with that result, although I'm a bit disappointed not to get past Mexico. I caught that group of cars and your instinct is to get past them but you just can’t when everyone is so close on time like that. I was happy with seventh and having the fourth fastest lap time is a good consolation as well. The main thing was making up some positions from 14th place, in front of all these fans who made a big effort and have been so supportive. I felt awful being in 14th place so being able to turn in the second fastest race lap was a fairly typical British performance.”

The team will take a break during the summer, returning to the race track later this year for the fifth season of competition.


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