Thursday, 27 November 2008


The last A1 race of 2008 last weekend saw Switzerland take the win in a messy Sprint race which had a major crash at the start, saw GB pull out with a gearbox problem on lap 1 and South Africa damage the Malaysian car in a hopeless overtaking attempt. New Zealand was second out of the pits in front of France but had to give the place back because of an unsafe pit release. Mexico went off the track to add to the excitement. Switzerland’s pit stop was quick and clean as befits the team which won the series last year.

A rolling start is supposed to be two abreast not six!

Korea not on the grid for the feature race because of a technical problem gave the US their rear wing to replace the damaged one from the sprint race. The camaraderie between teams in A1 is a notable contrast to F1.

At the start of the Feature Race GB dropped straight from second place on the grid to fifth; India got taken out by the Netherlands who themselves had been hit. Switzerland, trying to make his way up from the back after a penalty, went off. Ireland, led Portugal, Lebanon, Malaysia and GB. Malaysia got past Lebanon but as GB tried it both cars went off and on getting back on the track GB got overtaken by a few cars and then lost his front wing as France hit him. Not a good day for GB. It got wortse and the car ended the race in the garage.

At this stage an unbelievable downpour occurred (on the Wirral not in Sepang) and the picture disappeared. By the time the rain / hail eased off the first round of pit stops had occurred. Close but fair racing between Ho Pin Tung of China and the US’s Marco Andretti showed that overtaking without hitting people is quite possible. Later, Malaysia and Italy also demonstrated skill, good judgement and fairness as they fought. Perhaps Adrian Zoug of South Africa could learn from these drivers.

Malaysia was in a comfortable third place when some miscommunication brought him into the pits unexpectedly losing him so much time he ended up well back, disappointing the home crowd. In the end Adam Carroll took first place for Ireland, chased by Portugal with USA a good deal behind in 3rd.

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