Although his first weekend of A1GP competition was far from straightforward, Bruno Junqueira matched Team Brazils best result of the season to date on the streets of Durban.

The Champ Car World Series race winner had been forced to use a spare car for the weekend after an accident in practice and qualified down in 18th place on the grid for the Sprint race.

With the South African street circuit featuring a tight hairpin first corner, problems at the start were inevitable and a collision for two cars ahead left Junqueira with nowhere to go and he was forced to pit to replace the damaged nose on his car. Dropping back to 21st on the grid, he eventually made his way back up to 17th by the end of the 15 lap race.

"I did a good start but I didn't want to take any risks," he said. "I could have tried to go from 18th to tenth but I thought it was better to be safe. But then two cars crashed in front of me on the exit of the corner and I just didn't have anywhere to go and I hit some car and had to come into the pits. We were setting some fast lap-times but I was a lap down."

In the Feature race, Junqueira avoided the first corner shenanigans to climb up to tenth by the end of the opening lap. Although he lost a position during the pitstops, the Brazilian was soon making up places and took the flag in seventh place, securing four points towards the teams tally.

"At the start I gained quite a few positions, especially when some guys had a problem at the first corner," he said. "Then someone stopped and I went to ninth, I passed a guy for eighth and then another car stopped and I was in seventh. I had a couple of runs at the Portugal car but he blocked me, which is how it works here. I still had a lot of push-to-pass available, but I didn't take any huge risks.

"Seventh is the good result for the team, especially after such a terrible weekend, just to finish with the car in one piece for the boys and get a solid finish. I'm never happy to be seventh but, looking at the whole situation, it's good."

 

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