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Hulkenberg wins two more

 

Young German Nico Hulkenberg won both A1 GP series races in South Africa last weekend, with Kiwi Matt Halliday third in both.

February 26, 2007. German A1 GP driver Nico Hulkenberg continued his Michael Schumacher impersonation on the streets of Durban, South Africa, last Sunday, winning both the Feature and Sprint races.

He has now won six races in succession, and has become the most successful A1 GP driver, winning more races (eight) and leading the greatest number of laps.

New Zealander Matt Halliday took two third placings and has retained Team NZ’s second place in the series, 30 points behind Germany.

Halliday said he had been rusty after five months away from an A1 GP car cockpit. He had made a poor start to the Feature race and felt he had been off the pace in the race’s middle section.

Briton Robbie Kerr placed second in the Feature, and fast Frenchman Loic Duval was runner-up in the sprint.

A multi-car pile-up at the first corner caused the Safety Car to be deployed on lap one of the Feature race, but Hulkenberg was already safely in the lead.

In the early laps, Germany led from the Netherlands, France, Switzerland and Great Britain.

Duval retired early with a broken driveshaft, and Hulkenberg opened a five-second lead.

Dutchman Jeroen Bleekemolen’s chances faded after he was slapped with a drive-through penalty for a pitlane collision with Australian Carl Reindler.

When the order shook out after the pitstops, Hulkenberg led from Kerr and Halliday.

A Safety Car period sliced away Hulkenberg’s 20-second lead, but at the restart he made good use of the slow Team Pakistan car to reopen his lead, slipping by while the rest of the pack got backed-up.

Hulkenberg said that once Bleekemolen was slapped with the drive-through, “I just looked after my tyres, was driving easy and keeping the gap to 15 seconds.”

At the restart after the Safety Car, “I knew Pakistan was not as fast as the other guys so that was quite easy. I still had good tyres so I showed what we could do and it was a lot of fun/”

Kerr said the Pakistani driver had hampered his attack on Hulkenberg.

“I think I need to go and have a few words with Pakistan about where he is on the track at a certain point of time. Every time we came up to lap him he managed to get in the way and then Matt was right on my back. We missed a good opportunity to try and get ahead.”

Hulkenberg won the 20-minute Sprint race, building a lead over Duval and maintaining it to the finish.

Halliday was a close third behind Duval.

February 26, 2007. German A1 GP driver Nico Hulkenberg continued his Michael Schumacher impersonation on the streets of Durban, South Africa, last Sunday, winning both the Feature and Sprint races. He has now won six races in succession, and has become the most successful A1 GP driver, winning more races (eight) and leading the greatest number of laps.

New Zealander Matt Halliday took two third placings and has retained Team NZ’s second place in the series, 30 points behind Germany.

Halliday said he had been rusty after five months away from an A1 GP car cockpit. He had made a poor start to the Feature race and felt he had been off the pace in the race’s middle section.

Briton Robbie Kerr placed second in the Feature, and fast Frenchman Loic Duval was runner-up in the sprint.

A multi-car pile-up at the first corner caused the Safety Car to be deployed on lap one of the Feature race, but Hulkenberg was already safely in the lead.

In the early laps, Germany led from the Netherlands, France, Switzerland and Great Britain.

Duval retired early with a broken driveshaft, and Hulkenberg opened a five-second lead.

Dutchman Jeroen Bleekemolen’s chances faded after he was slapped with a drive-through penalty for a pitlane collision with Australian Carl Reindler.

When the order shook out after the pitstops, Hulkenberg led from Kerr and Halliday.

A Safety Car period sliced away Hulkenberg’s 20-second lead, but at the restart he made good use of the slow Team Pakistan car to reopen his lead, slipping by while the rest of the pack got backed-up.

Hulkenberg said that once Bleekemolen was slapped with the drive-through, “I just looked after my tyres, was driving easy and keeping the gap to 15 seconds.”

At the restart after the Safety Car, “I knew Pakistan was not as fast as the other guys so that was quite easy. I still had good tyres so I showed what we could do and it was a lot of fun/”

Kerr said the Pakistani driver had hampered his attack on Hulkenberg “I think I need to go and have a few words with Pakistan about where he is on the track at a certain point of time. Every time we came up to lap him he managed to get in the way and then Matt was right on my back. We missed a good opportunity to try and get ahead.”

Hulkenberg won the 20-minute Sprint race, building a lead over Duval and maintaining it to the finish. Halliday was a close third behind Duval.

A1 GP results, Durban, South Africa, February 25.

Feature Race.

1. Nico Hulkenberg, Germany, 70 minutes.
2. Robbie Kerr, Great Britain, 9.556s behind.
3. Matt Halliday, New Zealand, 10.519s behind.
4. Neel Jani, Switzerland, 12.642s behind.
5. Alvaro Parente, Portugal, 15.975s behind.
6. Jeroen Bleekemolen, The Netherlands, 16.799s behind

Sprint Race.

1. Nico Hulkenberg, Germany, 20 minutes.
2. Loic Duval, France, 2.781s behind.
3. Matt Halliday, New Zealand, 3.490s behind.
4. Jeroen Bleekemolen, The Netherlands, 6.356s behind.
5. Neel Jani, Switzerland, 10.697s behind.
6. Richard Lyons, Ireland, 14.356s behind.

Points standings: Germany, 99; New Zealand, 69; France, 57; Great Britain, 65; Switzerland, 45; Netherlands, 43.

Photo caption: Nico Hulkenberg leads Loic Duval and Matt Halliday during the Sprint race. They finished in that order.

 


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