A third consecutive victory has further strengthened Germany's advantage at the top of the A1 Grand Prix standings, with Nico Hulkenberg delivering yet another faultless lights-to-flag win at Eastern Creek.

Never troubled throughout the slightly shortened 14 lap race, Hulkenberg overcame a mid-race safety car period to claim a comfortable two second victory over New Zealand, Jonny Reid capturing the team their sixth podium of the season.

Reid himself had spent much of the race in third place when he was outfoxed at the rolling start and eventually passed around the outside of turn two by Robbie Kerr, who hauled his British car into second and provided Hulkenberg his sternest competition over the first few laps.

However, Kerr's race rapidly went downhill from the deployment of the safety car on lap six when Lebanon's Alex Khateeb spun at the tricky turn eight. Although it bunched up the field, Kerr was unable to make the most of the shrunken gap to Hulkenberg out of the final corner, instead falling into the clutches of Reid who duly took advantage to slip back into second place.

Kerr's pace quickly deteriorated as he fought off the attentions France's Loic Duval, a battle he ultimately lost when he dropped to fourth place on lap eleven.

Worse was to come though when Kerr suffered a puncture with only two laps remaining, a slow deflation thought to have caused by his impressive move on the first lap. Forcing him to park his car up in the pit lane, Kerr will be classified down in 19th place, a position he will assume on the grid for the feature event.

Back at the front of the field, Reid was proving no match for Hulkenberg, the German easing ahead to the chequered flag, with the New Zealander in turn proving significantly quicker than Duval in the closing stages to open up a five and a half second advantage. Still, with Germany, New Zealand and France locking out the podium for the third race in succession, all three nations have strengthened their positions at the head of the standings.

Sebastien Buemi was a lonely fourth place to record his best result in A1 Grand Prix at the wheel of his Swiss entry, the 18-year-old leading Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen over the line. It was a strong result for the Dutchman, who defied his pre-race claims that 'nothing would happen in the sprint race' by getting a strong start from eighth on the grid to be sixth by the end of the first lap, rising to fifth thanks to Kerr's demise.

The big beneficiary from Kerr's retirement though was arguably Ho-Pin Tung who was rewarded for his surprisingly strong qualifying performance by claiming the sixth and final marker for China.

Just missing out on the chance of points though were Malaysia, USA - Philip Giebler ruining his hopes with a tardy start - and Czech Republic, although all three will be looking to capitalise on their top ten starting positions for the feature race.

 

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