Monday, December 11, 2006

New Zealand's twofold win at Sentul


The Jakarta Post, Sentul, West Java

New Zealander Jonny Reid claimed his first ever double victory at the rain-disrupted A1GP race in Sentul circuit, south of Jakarta, on Sunday.

Racing from the starting grid, Reid won the feature race after clocking one hour 10 minutes and 36.607 seconds. He had earlier won the 15-lap sprint race in 19 minutes 41.054 seconds.

He had a tough race against championship leader Nico Hulkenberg of Germany, who finished second with 1:10.37.785, followed by France's Nicolas Lapierre with 1:10:40.869.

Indonesia's Ananda Mikola, who had hoped to reach the podium in front of the home crowd, finished 11th with 1:10:44.586. Ananda also failed to make a mark in the sprint race, finishing 14th in 20:07.032.

"It was not a straightforward race at all and the weather came in and played a big part in that race," Reid said in a press conference.

"After the start of the race I was struggling quite a lot and at the pit stop we made a change and the car was much, much better, as you could see in the lap times. I snatched back the lead and pushed hard to get a gap. We put a lot of push on at the end and I just got my head down," he added.

Speaking on his chances in the next race in Taupo, New Zealand, from Jan. 19-21, Reid said he has never driven there.

"I think the track will be slippery because it's a new circuit," he said.

The race was delayed for about half an hour after a heavy downpour.

Reid made an excellent start and retained his advantage over Hulkenberg to win by 1.178 seconds, his first A1GP Feature race victory.

"Fortunately I was able to take the win today. Germany and myself have shown a clear pace in qualifying for the first half of the season and I am confident we can keep that pace up," the German driver said.

The wet track caused some problems, with Great Britain's Robbie Kerr spinning out on the 38th of 47 laps. The safety car came out due to the incident.

Germany still leads the overall standings with 48 points after five races, followed by Great Britain with 36 points and Mexico with 33 points. Indonesia is tied with Ireland at the bottom with one point. (02)

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