A1GP Team Switzerland is the new points' leader in the World Cup of Motorsport

A1GP Team Switzerland is the new points' leader in the World Cup of Motorsport

22.02.2009: Dominant feature race victory for Neel Jani after third place in sprint race Now what did Neel Jani say again after qualifying on Saturday: back in New Zealand, he had shown how to start from fifth place on the grid and still win the race. And just

Dominant feature race victory for Neel Jani after third place in sprint race


Now what did Neel Jani say again after qualifying on Saturday: back in New Zealand, he had shown how to start from fifth place on the grid and still win the race. And just the same thing happened in South Africa. At Kyalami, Jani claimed his third victory of the season. Together with his third place in the sprint race, this was enough for the Swiss team to take over the leading position in the points' standings from Ireland and to extend its margin over Portugal.

The feature race at Kyalami was like a copy of the one held at Taupo on January 25th. At the start, Jani moved up from fifth into second place. Like in New Zealand, a very good pit stop allowed him to take the lead, although this time it was the first stop already. And eventually, the driver from Berne celebrated a win that could not be expected automatically and that turned out to be quite comfortable with a 13 seconds' margin over Brazil.

On Sunday, Jani scored a total of 21 points. In normal conditions, that would hardly have been enough for the Swiss team to take over the lead in the points' standings of the World Cup of Motorsport. Doing so required some luck as well. For instance, the two main rivals were already decisively beaten after a few hundred metres already: Irishman Adam Carroll landed in the gravel trap and retired, Portuguese Filipe Albuquerque dropped back to 16th place after a very poor start. He only finished in fifth place. On lap nine, the first pit stop for the team from Monaco went wrong. This allowed Jani to move up into the lead, a position he wasn't to loose until the end of the 40th and final lap.

Neel Jani remained moderate after the overwhelming success: "Especially in the second stint, the car was very good to drive. In the third stint, I didn't have to push very much, because I already had a comfortable lead. My main goal was to overtake the three drivers who had started in front of me, only because of the qualifying session being stopped early, as quickly as possible.

 

That was a little bit tricky indeed, because the first two corners are quite narrow." The fact that it all went as planned is not in the least the result of Jani keeping his nerves in control, the opposite of Albuquerque and Carroll.

In the 14 lap sprint race, Jani overtook Albuquerque with a successful start. However, he lost second place to the Portuguese again during the mandatory pit stop. "That was not the result of the work of the mechanics", Jani reported.

 "The reason was Malaysian driver Fauzy, who put his car just in front of me at the pit box next to ours, so that I almost ran into him while driving off again. e lost 5.6 seconds to Portugal." Later on, Jani had to admit that he had no chance against The Netherlands and Portugal, because his second set of tyres was worse than his first one.

 "Therefore, I backed off a little bit and I focussed on defending my position from the drivers behind me." Why didn't Jani use one of the four power boost options during the race? "I wouldn't have been able to overtake the Portuguese, who apparently had very good tyres, anyhow, so I decided to save the engine." Because Portugal also scored one bonus point for setting the fastest race lap, it closed up to Switzerland in the points' standings after the sprint race, the Swiss having made up one point to Ireland, that had finished fourth in the sprint race.

Team principal Max Welti once more praised his driver:
"Neel is always driving in a clever way. He is able to make the best out of any given situation, he pushes whenever it is necessary and he backs off when too much effort would be fruitless." Welti is no less impressed by the team: "These guys are really working together very well. Neel and our engineer James Robinson almost understand each other blindly and the mechanics, too. The same goes for our physiotherapist Helmut Fink in the physical preparation of the drivers for their task. I have a group of people that is a great joy to work with."

Jani and the Swiss team have also written statistical history in Kyalami. With his ninth victory, Jani is now at the same level as erstwhile record-holder Nico Hülkenberg from Germany. Jani is now also the driver with the most races to his name in the almost four years of the A1GP series: he has competed in 56 of the 74 races held, two more than Malaysian Alex Yoong. Moreover, Switzerland can consider itself as the most successful team ever, as the points scored on Sunday have brought its total to 412, allowing the team to overtake France (398).

Kyalami/Gauteng (South Africa). A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. Sprint race (standing start/14 laps of 4.261 km/59.6 km): 1. Netherlands (Jeroen Bleekemolen) 21:35.105. 2. Portugal (Filipe Albuquerque) 4.407 seconds down. 3. Switzerland (Neel Jani) 10.600. 4. Ireland (Adam Carroll) 12.925. 5. Monaco (Clivio Piccione) 14.363. 6. India (Narain Karthikeyan) 18.474. 7. South Africa (Adrian Zaugg) 21.278. 8. New Zealand (Earl Bamber) 26.539. 9. Malaysia (Fairuz Fauzy) 26.925. 10. France (Nicolas Prost) 28.101. 11. Italy (Edoardo Piscopo) 32.081. 12. Australia (John Martin) 34.474. 13. China (Ho-Pin Tung) 37.804. 14. Germany (Michael Ammermüller) 39.068. 15. Brazil (Felipe Guimarães) 39.717. 16. Mexico (Salvador Durán) 45.006. 17. USA (Marco Andretti) 55.636. 18. Indonesia (Zahir Ali) 77.724. 19. five laps down (not finished): Great Britain (Danny Watts). 20. eight laps down: Lebanon (Daniel Morad). -- Fastest lap: Portugal with 1:29.072 (172.2 km/h).

Feature race (standing start/40 laps/170.4 km):
1. Switzerland 1:02:24.617. 2. Brazil 13.176 seconds down. 3. Monaco 14.193. 4. Netherlands 17.024. 5. Portugal 17.995. 6. Lebanon 31.210. 7. Great Britain 34.328. 8. USA 59.000. 9. Indonesia 63.995. 10. Italy 64.856. 11. Germany 68.603. 12. India 69.150. 13. Australia 80.545. -- Did not finish: China, Malaysia, South Africa, New Zealand, France, Mexico and Ireland. - Fastest lap: Malaysia with 1:28.306 (173.7 km/h).

A1GP WORLD CUP OF MOTORSPORT. Standings (10/16):
1. Switzerland 73. 2. Ireland 70. 3. Portugal 64. 4. Netherlands 56. 5. France 41. 6. New Zealand 36. 7. Malaysia 32. 8. Australia 30. 9. Monaco 23. 10. Great Britain 20. 11. South Africa 19. 12. USA 19. 13. Brazil 16. 14. Italy 10. 15. Lebanon 8. 16. India 8. 17. Korea 4. 18. China 4. 19. Indonesia 2. 20. Mexico 0. 21. Germany 0. - Next round: April 12th at Portimão/Algarve (Por).


Michael Schneider -photos A1GP
More photos on automobilsport.com under Photos Slideshows  and photos Ecards A1GP Series

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/a1gp-team-switzerland-point-leader-world-cup-of-motorsport-neel-jani-kyalami-south-africa---56058.html

22.02.2009 / MaP

More News

A1 Team Lebanon celebrates superb drive to sixth place in A1GP
22.02.2009
It could have been a script from a Hollywood blockbuster for A1 Team Lebanon this weekend. After battling major engine problems and technical issues which kept the team working late into each night of the race weekend, finally 18-year- old driver, Daniel Morad, was able to be a more >>
Points Scoring Weekend for A1 Team India
22.02.2009
A1 Team India added to its championship points tally, with a 6th place finish in the Sprint Race at the Kyalami Circuit in Johannesburg, South Africa. Sunday morning broke with warm and sunny weather, almost ideal racing weather. A1 Team India started th more >>
Four championship points for A1 Team Great Britain in South Africa ...
22.02.2009
....as Danny Watts finishes the Feature race in seventh position. After a difficult start to the weekend, with the team enduring electrical problems throughout practice, A1 Team Great Britain was happy today when Danny Watts finished the A1GP Gaut more >>
Podium Delight for A1 Team Brazil in South Africa
22.02.2009
A1 Team Brazil’s Felipe Guimarães led the squad to its first podium position in 23 races today when he took a fine second in the Feature race at A1GP Gauteng at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in Johannesburg, South Afr more >>
Neel Jani among the victims of aborted qualifying
21.02.2009
An almost perfect result: third and fifth grid positions at Kyalami In Kyalami (South Africa), Neel Jani was on his way to claiming pole position for the feature race of the A1GP series, when qualifying was stopped due to an accident of Brazilian driver Felipe Gu more >>
A1 Team Lebanon stays strong and positive
21.02.2009
A1 Team Lebanon, with driver Daniel Morad, finished the day shaking their heads with despair. After setting the pace yesterday and continuing to run in the lead group this morning, the team were confident that they had all the ingredients for their best ever qualifying result. more >>
A1Team GBR endures electrical issues ahead of Kyalami qualifying
21.02.2009
A1 Team Great Britain will begin tomorrow’s Sprint race from 13th and the Feature from 10th after suffering technical problems in practice Danny Watts was in action today for A1 Team Great Britain at A1GP Gauteng, the fifth round of the 2008/09 A1 more >>
A1 Team Lebanon and Daniel Morad sets the pace in South Africa
20.02.2009
  Daniel Morad and A1 Team Lebanon set the pace at the fifth round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in Kyalami, South Africa, posting the quickest lap of the nations out on track today. The 18-year-old driver loved the challenge of this circuit and his passion translated into more >>
Neel Jani not unhappy in spite of 7th place
20.02.2009
Emphasis on set-up work on first day at Kyalami The Swiss A1GP team ended up seventh in the first practice session at the South-African race track of Kyalami near Johannesburg. Neither team principal Max Welti nor driver Neel Jani are worried becau more >>
A1 Team Switzerland - A1GP premiere at Kyalami
20.02.2009
Swiss team after points leader Ireland in South-AfricaFor the first time, the World Cup of Motorsport will be racing at Kyalami. Like all the other drivers, Swiss drivers Neel Jani and Alexa more >>
A1 Team Mexico looking forward to Kyalami challenge
18.02.2009
The Mexican team, that competes in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, is getting ready to face a new challenge this weekend in South Africa. Although the A1GP series has visited South Africa the two previous years, this will be its first time at the historic Kyalami racetrak. The more >>
A1 Team Lebanon goes to Gauteng - South Africa
17.02.2009
A1 Team Lebanon with driver Daniel Morad, head to South Africa this week for the fifth round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. This season the series will race at the famous Kyalami circuit in Johannesburg, after three years on the South African coastline of Durban. more >>
A1 Team Brazil set for new challenges in South Africa
14.02.2009
The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport moves to South Africa for round five of the 2008/09 season, and will face the new challenges of the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in Gauteng, as the South African event visits Kyalami for the first time after racing the last three seasons on t more >>
A1 Team GBR welcomes back Danny Watts for South Africa races
14.02.2009
A1 Team Great Britain welcomes back Danny Watts to the cockpit for A1GP Gauteng, which will take place at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in South AfricaA1 Team Great Britain is pleased to announce the more >>
A new partner for A1GP Team Switzerland
13.02.2009
Significant commitment for Swiss motorsport by Fredy Lienhard The signage of "Autobau" will be adjourning the race car of A1 GP Team Switzerland. "Autobau" is the new motoring experience in Romanshorn at Lake Constance in Switzerland, which will be officially ope more >>
Fordahl-FOQ und cp eyewear -- zwei neue Partner des Schweizer A1GP Teams
05.02.2009
Das A1 Team Switzerland freut sich, mit der FORDAHL-FOQ Group und CP zwei neue Partner präsentieren zu können.FORDAHL-FOQDie FORDAHL-FOQ Group gehört zu den führenden Global Playern auf dem Gebiet der Zeitmessungs-Komponenten f&uu more >>
A wheel nut ruined A1 Team Mexico's race
26.01.2009
Mexico A1GP team has suffered a disappointing performance in Taupo this weekend.The return of Salvador Duran - the team's most successful driver – brought a renewed hope for better results. Despi more >>
A1 Team Switzerland on top down under
25.01.2009
Victory and second place for Neel Jani in New Zealand Switzerland has scored 26 points in the A1GP races at Taupo (New Zealand) and thus was the most successful team. Neel Jani won the feature race, having prev more >>
Promise and potential turns to dust for A1 Team Lebanon
25.01.2009
All the promise shown by A1 Team Lebanon turned to disaster today in Taupo, New Zealand. Daniel Morad had been one of the top performing drivers in each session ahead of the two races, but it turned sour in the Sprint race with a mec more >>
2001-2021 copyright automobilsport.com