They did it! - A1 Team Switzerland wins Nations’ Cup of Motorsport

They did it! - A1 Team Switzerland wins Nations’ Cup of Motorsport

04.05.2008: They did it! - A1 Team Switzerland wins Nations’ Cup of Motorsport

After the sprint at Brands Hatch, everything was clear. Fourth place was enough for Switzerland to become the overall winners of the Nations’ Cup of Motorsport. Thus, the feature race in the afternoon was a show ride for Switzerland, in which Neel Jani finished on the podium for the eleventh time this season.

Switzerland claimed the world championship title with a margin of 41 points over New Zealand, an even more outstanding win than Germany against New Zealand last year (35) and almost as dominant as France against Switzerland in the 2005/2006 season (51).

Winning the title is the biggest achievement in Swiss motor racing for a long time – comparable to the Grand Prix victories by Jo Siffert and Clay Regazzoni or the brilliant performance of the Sauber Mercedes-team in the sportscar world championship in the sixties, the seventies and the eight ies of the past century.

"Our success is the result of the effort of all our 20 team members", said a notably emotional Swiss team principal, Max Welti. "Our driver Neel Jani deserves a very special accolade as he made the best of the team work out there on the tracks in an almost perfect way.

I dedicate our victory in the nations’ cup to the unforgotten Jo Siffert, who won his first Formula 1 race here at Brands Hatch 40 years ago and lost his life at the same venue in 1971", the 56-year old from Zurich added, not hiding his emotions: "Having been able to represent our country as the patron of the Swiss national team fills me with joy and pride, and even more so as we have succeeded in claiming honour for Switzerland all over the world."

Once again, Neel Jani did his job in a great way. "I did what I had to do", the soon-to-be-25-year old from Berne said. "Especially at the start of the sprint, I couldn’t take any risks. For this reason, I let Ireland get thro ugh in the first corner without further ad and I concentrated on defending my fourth position. For the feature race, I had my eyes set on another podium finish. Achieving this was more or less easy, so that I can look back on a rather successful season."

The Swiss record of the third season looks quite good. Apart from the title, with which the team earns one million dollars, Neel Jani has won two sprints and two feature races, awarded with 100,000 and 200,000 dollars each respectively.

The Swiss car has been on pole position six times, Jani set the fastest race lap on five occasions and scored a podium finish five times. No other country can show such good results.

Brands Hatch (GB). A1GP (Nations’ Cup of Motorsport)

Sprint (flying startt/15 laps of 3.703 km/55.545 km): 1. Great Britain (Robbie Kerr) 19:19.143. 2. USA (Jonathan Summerton) 1.126 seconds down. 3. Irleand (Adam Carroll) 2.186. 4. Switzerland (Neel Jani) 4.125. 5. In dia (Narain Karthikeyan) 4.467. 6. Portugal (Filipe Albuquerque) 5.397. 7. South Africa (Adrian Zaugg) 6.114. 8. New Zealand (Jonny Reid) 8.385. 9. Netherlands (Jeroen Bleekemolen) 9.825. 10. France (Franck Montagny) 10.878. -- 22 drivers started, 22 classified. – Fastest lap: China (Cong Fu Cheng/lap 14) in 1:16.184 (174.981 km/h).

Feature race (standing start/48 laps/177.744 km): 1. India 1:07:24.691. 2. Great Britain 1.078 seconds down. 3. Switzerland 8.725. 4. China 9.132. 5. France 12.960. 6. Netherlands 15.538. 7. Portugal 15.714. 8. New Zealand 19.862. 9. Italy (Edorado Piscopo) 26.353. 10. Indonesia (Satrio Hermanto) 49.268. 11. South Africa 49.661. -- 22 drivers started, 18 classified. – Fastest lap: Ireland (lap 44) in 1:15.997 (175.412 km/h).

Final standings in the Nations’ Cup of Motorsport (20 races): 1. Switzerland 168. 2. New Zealand 127. 3. Great Britain 126. 4. France 118. 5. South Africa 96. 6. Ireland 94. 7. Netherlands 87. 8. Germany 83. 9. Canada 75. 10. India 61. 11. Portugal 59. 12. USA 56. 13. China 55. 14. Brazil 44. 15. Malaysia 25. 16. Mexico 22. 17. Australia 20. 18. Italy 12. 19. Czech Republic 10. 20. Pakistan 1. 21. Indonesia 1. 22. Libanon 0. 


- Michael Schneider- also photos

photos are on under PHOTOS - A1GP


04.05.2008 / MaP

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