The young Kiwi puts in a fantastic drive for A1 Team New Zealand in Sepang
A1 Team New Zealand banked a solid eleven points in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport today at Malaysia’s Sepang circuit, after a mature drive from eighteen-year-old Earl Bamber.
Avoiding some spectacular crashes, Bamber scored third place in the Sprint race, and backed this up with sixth in the Feature, after starting from 15th place.
In the Sprint Race, USA, Brazil and India collided on the run up to the rolling start, before the race had even started. The red flag was needed to clear up the broken race-cars, and when the race resumed, it was led by eventual winner Team Switzerland.
Starting third, Bamber held position early in the race. A super fast pit stop by the Kiwi crew saw Black Beauty rejoin the track in second place.
However it was a tight call for the team when they released Bamber from the pitstop, as he emerged from his pit box alongside the French car. To avoid the risk for further penalty, the decision was made to relinquish second back to Team France.
Bamber made his third trip to the podium in as many races in Season Four of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, as he held third to the finish, eleven seconds down on the race winner Switzerland, and hot on the heels of Team France.
In the Feature race, an early spin by Swiss driver Neel Jani put the Sprint Race winner out of contention, and brought out the safety car.
With 19 laps to run, Bamber had worked Black Beauty into the top ten, and continued the charge forward while at the same time staying out of trouble.
At the chequered flag, New Zealand had gained nine places in all, finishing without damage in sixth place. This gave the Kiwi team a solid points haul as the championship takes a break over Christmas, before heading to the team’s home race in Taupo early next year.
Team Ireland won the Feature Race, almost 16 seconds ahead of second placed Team Portugal.
In the championship standings, New Zealand move back up the ladder to now hold joint third place with France.
Ireland move from second place in the points to the lead, with an eight point margin over Portugal.
The next round of the championship, A1GP Taupo gets on track over the weekend 23-25 January 2009. Tickets are on sale for the fastest race ever to be held in New Zealand, from the website www.A1GPTaupo.com or sign up to the Auto Trader newsletter and you could win one of 10 double passes! Register here.