Everything going well for A1 Team Switzerland

04.05.2008: Everything going well for A1 Team Switzerland

Neel Jani will be starting well ahead of New Zealand in both races at Brands Hatch

Actually, nothing can go wrong anymore for the Swiss team in the nations' cup of motorsport. At Brands Hatch, Neel Jani will be starting from third place both for the sprint and for the feature race, on both occasions well ahead of New Zealand, Switzerland's only remaining rival in the battle for the title that is at stake on Sunday.

Given the qualifying results, it is quite probable that the decision will already come in the sprint race. New Zealand's Jonny Reid would have to find a way past the Swiss car from tenth position in only 15 laps. In case he fails to do so, Switzerland will be world champion. And this will also be the case when New Zealand will be winning the race against the odds and Neel Jani finishes at least seventh.

Even when the Swiss driver would have some kind of problem, he would have a second and even better chance in the feature race running over 48 laps, in which New Zealand has to start from 17th place, almost chanceless.

"All in all, I am very happy with what we have achieved, after we didn't get it right for quite a long time in practice in the morning", Neel Jani reported. "Of course, I would have liked to be on pole position, but this time, I can live with my pair of third places. In qualifying for the sprint race, I wasn't too far off. I set the fastest time in the first segment. In the second one, the tyres didn't work at their best.

Probably, they cooled down too much during the in-lap. On my first attempt for the feature race, the throttle on my car was stuck for a moment. As a result, I took it cautiously. On my final run, I was heading for pole after the first and second sector, but I lost four tenths in the last corners. I guess I pushed a little bit too hard, so that there was too much pressure on the tyres. I can be confident."

Even team principal Max Welti, who is always urging everybody to remain realistic, expressed his relief: "We have made a big step into the right direction. Once again, I have to make a big compliment to Neel. Although we have 70 guests here, he remained calm and focussed.

He has matured in every sense of the word, doesn't let himself get affected by any unexpected things. The result, of course, is also down to our engineer James Robinson, who has an excellent relationship with the driver. We have seen this in practice in the morning, as things initially weren't running smoothly."

On Sunday, India will be on pole position for the first time in the three years' history of the nations' cup. In qualifying for the feature race, ex-Formula 1 driver, Narain Karthikeyan beat Briton Robbie Kerr, who has the best knowledge of the difficult track, by a mere 0.227 seconds. For the sprint race in the morning, Great Britain has the best grid position from the USA with Jonathan Summerton and Switzerland.

Brands Hatch (GB). A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. Qualifying (22 participants). Grid positions for the sprint race: 1 Great Britain (Robbie Kerr) 1:14.424 (179.119 km/h). 2 USA (Jonathan Summerton) 0.002 seconds down. 3 Switzerland (Neel Jani) 0.348. 4 Ireland (Adam Carroll) 0.511. 5 India (Narain Karthikeyan) 0.616. 6 Portugal (Filipe Albuquerque) 0.653 7 Südafrika (Adrian Zaugg) 0.718. 8 France (Franck Montagny) 0.792. 9 Germany (Michael Ammermüller) 0.882. 10 New Zealand (Jonny Reid) 0.888.

Grid positions for the feature race: 1 India 1:14.682 (178.500 km/h). 2 Great Britain 0.227 seconds down. 3 Swizerland 0.275. 4 Ireland 0.338. 5 Germany 0.360. 6 France 0.548. 7 South Africa 0.602. 8 China (Kong Fu Cheng) 0.631. 9 USA 0.716. 10 Netherlands (Jeroen Bleekemolen) 0.938. -- Further: 17 New Zealand 1.321.

Final practice: 1. China 1:14.916 (177.943 km/h). 2. Great Britain 0.218 seconds down. 3. India 0.505. 4. New Zealand 0.582. 5. Switzerland 0.650. 6. Portugal 0.765. 7 Czech Republic 0.850. 8. USA 0,857. 9. Germany 0.884. 10. France 0.898. -- Further: 13. South Africa 0.996. -- 22 nations.

Further programme. Sunday. 11.00 - 11.20 (12.00 - 12.20): sprint (flying start). 14.30 - 15.40 (15.30 - 16.40): feature race (standing start).

A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. Standings after 18 of 20 rounds: 1. Switzerland 150. 2. New Zealand 121. 3. France 111. 4. Great Britain 99. 5. South Africa 92. 6. Germany 83. 7. Ireland 83. 8. Netherlands 80. 9. Canada 75. 10. Portugal 50. 11. China 46. 12. USA 44. -- 22 nations.

TV. Schweizer Sportfernsehen SSF (on the STAR TV channel): Sunday, 15.30 CET live. -- Premiere: Sunday, 19.45; replays on Monday, 11.30 and 20.45. -- Sky Sport Italia: Sunday, 15.00 live. -- Eurosport France: Monday, 00.01.

A1GP on Swiss TV

Schweizer Sportfernsehen SSF (on the STAR TV channel): Sunday, 15.30 CET live. -- Premiere: Sunday, 19.45; replays on Monday, 11.30 and 20.45

Sky Sport Italia: Sunday, 15.00 live

Eurosport France: Monday, 00.01.  

 

- Michael Schneider-

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/a1-team-switzerland-neel-jani-brands-hatch-new-zealand-jonny-reid-tv-swiss---36934.html

04.05.2008 / MaP

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