France Captures 2nd A1GP win in EuroSpeedway, Germany

France Captures 2nd A1GP win in EuroSpeedway, Germany image

Text: / Photos: | posted January 27, 2005 13:00

EuroSpeedway Lausitz, 9 October - It was a close fought, incident packed Feature race that was watched by 34,000 noisy fans at the impressive EuroSpeedway Lausitz circuit. 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 A1GP series.

When the starting lights went out and the cars rushed into Turn 1, it was A1 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 A1 Team Malaysia completing the top three with Brazil in fourth. However, A1 Team France soon opted to use the PowerBoost button and the red, white and blue car overtook Switzerland on lap 4. In the meantime, A1 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 A1 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 A1 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, the French driver knew he had a very rapid car behind him as A1 Team GBR was lying second. A1 Team Canada's driver also moved up through the field after starting from seventh on the grid and like A1 Team GBR moved into a podium position on lap 21.

There was one safety car period after A1 Team India stopped on the start/finish straight and the car had to be retrieved. This was soon cleared up however A1 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 A1 Team Czech Republic received a drive through for a jump start and A1 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, three into two didn't go and with the car in the middle of a sandwich, the inevitable collision happened and Brazil spun into retirement.

It was another miserable weekend for A1 Team USA 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 A1 Team Lebanon their best result to date despite severe handling problems and an extra pit stop. The Team, along with several others, encountered wheel nut problems during their pit stops. This is something that the A1 Grand Prix organisers will be looking into over the next couple of days.