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Black Beauty beached

 

A1 Team New Zealand didn't finish either race at Brands Hatch on the weekend

Black Beauty ended both races prematurely, beached in gravel traps around the Brands Hatch circuit.

New Zealand got off to a solid start in the shorter Sprint Race, after starting from sixth place. A radio call from the team instructing Bamber to ‘push’ mid way through the race to find more speed was confused with a call to ‘pit’ for the compulsory pitstop.

This resulted in Bamber arriving in the pitlane early, and New Zealand’s crew having to scramble to service Black Beauty. 

Tragedy struck a few laps later however, through no fault of Bamber or Black Beauty. Lebanon spun in front of New Zealand with five laps remaining, forcing Bamber to take avoiding action, spinning Black Beauty into the gravel trap and out of the race.

At the front of the field, Ireland came out on top with the race win, placing the Irish team in the box seat to win the overall championship with one race still to run.

The longer Feature Race was interrupted before the race had even got underway, with problems for South Africa in finding their grid space causing the field to be sent for a second warm-up lap.

New Zealand fans were on the edge of their seats when the race did eventually get underway. Black Beauty headed into the first corner as part of a group of cars running four wide, however Bamber thankfully kept clear of trouble to hold sixth place. 

An incident behind New Zealand brought out the Safety Car on the opening lap, after China and India tangled.  Following two laps behind the Safety Car, Black Beauty was under pressure from the Australian car when the race resumed.

Bamber got to work and opened up a small gap from Australia, before another drama for Black Beauty spun Bamber out of the race from sixth place at the Westfield corner at Brands Hatch.

Ireland went on to win not only the race but also the fourth A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, in a perfect weekend for their team.

New Zealand just managed to hang on to seventh position in the points standings with 36 points, six points behind sixth placed Malaysia.

Australia put in a late charge in the points standings to finish equal on points with New Zealand, however New Zealand’s early season podiums secured seventh place in what has been a rough season for Black Beauty.

 
Final 2008/09 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport points standings 

1 Ireland 112
2 Switzerland 95
3 Portugal 92
4 Netherlands 75
5 France 47
6 Malaysia 43
7 New Zealand 36
8 Australia 36
9 Monaco 35
10 Great Britain 28
11 USA 24
12 India 19
13 Mexico 19
14 South Africa 19
15 Brazil 18
16 Italy 17
17 Lebanon 8
18 China 7
19 Korea 4
20 Indonesia 3
21 Germany 2


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