New Zealand has strengthened its grip on second place in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport after Matt Halliday secured a double points finish from the eighth meeting of the season in South Africa.

Halliday finished third in both the Sprint and Feature races on the Durban street circuit to add 14 points to the teams tally and extend the advantage held over defending champions France from five points to twelve.

"The key to street racing is keeping it clean, keeping it off the wall and going fast and Matt did all three," team spokesman Bob McMurray said. "He had a few valiant attempts at reeling in the hard-charging Great Britain, but he had to defend as well as attack and third in the feature was a good result given the drama behind him."

Halliday started slowly in the Feature race, dropping from third to sixth, but a slick pit stop and a drive-through penalty for the Netherlands allowed the Kiwi to make up ground and he spent the rest of the race locking horns with GBR driver Robbie Kerr in the most compelling contest of the day.

Earlier, Black Beauty dropped one place to finish third in the Sprint race after qualifying in second spot. Halliday scored four points in finishing behind Germany and France, with the Netherlands, Switzerland and Ireland securing points for being in the top six.

Halliday said a little bit of rustiness was the reason behind his slow starts in both races.

"I'm really disappointed I cost us a better position with both starts, but I can't be too disappointed in two podium placings," he said. "Great Britain was quick enough in the right places to hold me off and I didn't want to take too many gambles and risk losing valuable championship points."

 

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