Despite being one of the last times to take delivery of its new Powered by Ferrari car ahead of the opening rounds of the A1GP season, Team France secured a share of the early points lead with a double podium at Zandvoort.
Loic Duval started eleventh on the grid after hitting the track for the first time in qualifying but despite challenging wet weather conditions at the Dutch venue, Duval was able to storm his way through the field to lie third when the race was red-flagged two laps before the finish.
With the sporting regulations changed to leave the feature race grid decided by the sprint race result, Duval started the feature from third on the grid and he quickly climbed to second place after getting ahead of New Zealand driver Earl Bamber.
Deciding to pit late, Duval took the lead after the first round of stops and remained out front until the race drew to a close behind the Safety Car after an accident for Lebanon and China.
“Circuit conditions were really very difficult today,” he said. “The track was soaking and the wind upset the car's balance. You could start aquaplaning at any moment. Luckily, I soon felt completely at home in the new car that I'm still getting to grips with. By hanging on to third place in the first race I knew we could go for victory in the second. It all worked out as we'd expected, but I have to admit that the last laps seemed very long! Again, I'd like to thank the team for all their hard work, which helped us to score this victory. I hope it'll be the first of many this season.”
Duval's result sees the French team level on points with Malaysia after the opening and team sporting director Olivier Panis said he was pleased with the first weekend of racing.
“Is there a better way to finish the weekend?” the former F1 racer reflected. “There are days like that when everything goes your way. On Saturday morning we hadn't even run the car for the first time and this evening we've already scored our first victory. Loïc was incredible in such tricky track conditions. As for the mechanics, they did an amazing job, yet again. After putting the car together in record time, their speed during the first stop helped us to take the lead. Bravo to everybody! We've kicked off our season in the best possible fashion.”