Following on from South Africa and Germany, Enrico Toccacelo added Italy to the list of first time winners in this season's A1 Grand Prix after benefiting from the misfortune of others around the Beijing street circuit to claim an impressive maiden win.

A return to A1 GP for the former Formula 3000 runner-up, Toccacelo wasted no time in getting reacclimatised to the rigours of the championship, proving immediately on the pace in the one and only practice session to claim the third fastest time.

Third fastest in the session equated to third on the grid when qualifying was cancelled and with overtaking barely possible in the safety car dominated sprint race, Toccacelo was able to hold on in the same position for a podium, only Italy's third in the series.

Even better was to follow though in the longer feature race with Toccacelo making the most of a grid decided by the first race results to remain third from the off, moving up to second when Salvador Duran crashed out, only to slip back behind Germany's Nico Hulkenberg as the race headed into the closing stages.

However, in the space of a lap third became first after Jeroen Bleekemolen crashed his Team Netherlands car from the lead, only for Hulkenberg to pull into the pits almost immediately with gearbox woes.

With Netherlands and Germany falling by the wayside, Toccacelo moved into the lead and although a late safety car period bunching the pack up, pulled out ahead of Great Britain's Oliver Jarvis to win by almost five seconds and claim the first win for the Team Ghinzani squad.

"This is a really good result for us and I am really happy to be back here in A1GP, in Beijing and winning the race. In the first race I was third and was really pleased because I was pretty confident as the car was quite good.

"I have been a little bit lucky in the last laps but anyway I feel the car was good and I was the quickest in the race. It is really great and I want to say thank you to Team Ghinzani."

 

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