A1 GRAND PRIX OF NATIONS, SENTUL CIRCUIT, INDONESIA
FEATURE RACE RESULTS
A1 Team Canada fought their way from back of the grid to win the A1 Grand Prix of Nations, Sentul Circuit, Indonesia giving them their first win of the season. In front of a packed grandstand of 32,000 spectators, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and government representatives including the Ministers for Sport and Tourism, A1 Grand Prix laid on a spectacular race, action-packed from start to finish.
It was turmoil from the green light with pole sitter France's bad start allowing second place Great Britain to take the lead off the grid. Mexico also suffered a bad start and with cars taking avoiding action as they went into the first corner, Japan and Indonesia collided and the car bearing the rising sun ended up in the barrier while Ananda Mikola managed to stay on track.
The incidents brought out the safety car at the end of lap one and both Switzerland and Italy pitted. With the former obviously realising this was against the regulations unless the car was damaged, Neel Jani drove through the pits and rejoined the back of the field. A1 Team Mexico had obviously suffered damage as his right rear tyre came off the rim on lap two and so the car limped back to the pits. Several of the drivers took the opportunity to take their mandatory pit stop at the end of lap two but Great Britain did not and so maintained the lead. The safety car came in again at the end of lap three and as racing recommenced there was a collision between France and Malaysia, with the Sprint race winner having to pit for a new front wing.
The race was not the smoothest for the eventual winner as in lap five Canada was given a drive through penalty for crossing the line at the pit lane exit. A1 Team USA managed to keep going despite a visit to the gravel trap while man on a mission, Nicolas Lapierre found himself down in twentieth spot and a lap down on the leaders.
The safety car was soon out on the track again to retrieve A1 Team Lebanon's car from the gravel but they were not the only ones to go off at this point. Both France and Austria visited the gravel but were able to get out under their own steam.
At this point A1 Teams Malaysia and Netherlands made their pit stops from the front of the field but race leader Great Britain stayed out, with the team saying that he was past the point where he could pit when they knew the safety car was going to come out. The safety car came in at the end of lap 11 at which point the order was Great Britain, South Africa and Portugal. Canada and the USA were battling for twelfth place with the former getting by on lap 12 followed closely by A1 Team Netherlands. The Indonesian fans had to suffer more disappointment on lap 13 when their hero collided with Malaysia and spun although luckily he was able to continue. This was also the point when China joined the race having fixed the gear box problems suffered in the earlier Sprint race.