Jonny confident for Oz and the series
New Zealand A1GP driver Jonny Reid says he’s going to the next round at Eastern Creek in Australia confident of a good showing.
Reid, who won the Sprint Race at Taupo last Sunday and has taken New Zealand into the series lead, says he also has a good feeling about his chances of taking the championship overall.
“I’m confident we have one of the best teams in pitlane, and I believe I can win this championship – and that’s the focus,” he said on Sunday.
Looking towards the next round, he said: “Eastern Creek is a circuit I know well, and I hope to raise the bar there.
“We’re leading the championship. It’s exciting times all round.”
Reid said he had been disappointed by his start to the Feature Race where he dropped from fifth to 12th.
“It was a disappointing start, and I put my hand up for that.
“I misjudged the grip level (of his rear tyres on the track) off the line, maybe because we have had a lot more support categories running here this weekend than we normally do (at an A1GP round) and I bogged the engine down.
“My focus (had been) on the start lights. My reaction time was very good and I got the car rolling before Canada (the Canadian driver Robert Wickens) and I bogged down. It’s just a shame.”
Reid said it was “full credit” to his pit crew for “a fantastic second pitstop.”
He was happy with his copybook passing moves during the race: “I was happy with my passes – very late and brave.
“I’m just stoked to have got that win (in the Sprint Race) and pole position here at home for the home fans.”
Reid said he knew no-one would accept him being in 12th place in the main race, so “I had my head down all the time.
The Safety Cars helped us out a little bit and I was able to close the gap up.
“I got a good start and attacked and put pressure on.
“The pass I made on South Africa (Adrian Zaugg) was the best pass I made in the race.”
Reid said he felt his car had good speed but the way it was set up he couldn’t follow other cars too closely.
Before the weekend Team NZ’s aim had been to get past France and into second behind Switzerland in the standings. “And now we’ve got in front of both of them.
“Eastern Creek (the next round at Sydney) is fast and flowing and more my style. I really enjoy it.”
Reid was less than complimentary about the tactics of Feature Race leader and eventual winner Christian Vietoris at a re-start.
“(He) accelerated very hard from Turn 11 (the corner leading on to the back straight), then suddenly he hit his brakes.
“We had to spread out. He wasn’t treating us very nicely.
“He stopped everyone and then accelerated off (as he reached the start-finish line).”
Reid’s reaction to his Sprint Race victory? “I’m completely satisfied.
“You work so hard as a driver and the team works so hard. It’s the best feeling on earth.”
The only downside was that he had felt like celebrating “right then and there, but I had another raced to do.
“The team said: ‘go back out there and do it for your country, and that’s what I did.”