The long wait is finally over for Team GB, as rookie Oliver Jarvis succeeded in breaking the squad's A1GP duck with a commanding performance in the feature race in Mexico City at the weekend, leading all but eight laps around the challenging Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez.

Making only his second racing appearance in the nation vs. nation series, the soon-to-be Japanese F3 ace qualified a strong third on Saturday, a position he converted into a solid second place in the shorter sprint race, never far behind race-winner Malaysia but never truly close enough to attack. Indeed, the 23-year-old's result owed much to a good start, as he powered past front row sitter Germany and narrowly escaped the carnage behind, with the championship leader, home favourite Mexico and Brazil all coming together in a startline m?l?e.

This earned Jarvis a front row start for the all-important feature, and he made it clear he meant business right from the moment the lights went out. Having vowed to go one better than his sprint race effort, he rocketed off the line, leaving pole-sitter Alex Yoong trailing in his wake. With a clear track ahead of him, the 2005 McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year then set to work edging out an advantage over Jonathan Summerton in the Team USA machine.

Although the gap ebbed and flowed between the pair, a lightning fast tyre change ensured Jarvis retained the lead following his mandatory pit-stop, and after he re-assumed control on lap 18 he was never again headed. Though Summerton began to apply some pressure over the final ten laps, the American was unable to crack the British star's steely reserve and hunger to win, and as he crossed the finish line Jarvis punched the air with delight after finally ending the team's 39-race barren run.

"This is just a fantastic result for the whole team and a great boost ahead of our return to home soil for the A1GP season finale at Brands Hatch next month," enthused the jubilant race-winner afterwards. "Everyone has worked so hard for this result and it's a great reward for everyone's efforts. Jonathan pushed really hard at the end but I felt I had everything under control through to the chequered flag. Hopefully it won't be so long now until the next British win!"

The Cambridgeshire ace also paid tribute to regular driver Robbie Kerr, who was in Mexico to witness the historic triumph after seven times finishing second in the series.

"I think Robbie will be delighted for the team as he knows more than anyone else how hard they work," Jarvis said. "He would have loved to have been on that winning step but he will be happy for us as that is the sort of attitude in the team - we work as one and hopefully will be able to continue bringing in the results.'

The victory helped lift Team GB up above France into third position in the nations' standings, just 13 points adrift of New Zealand in second. Round ten of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport sees a return to China and the Shanghai International Circuit on 13-15 April.

 

Comments

Loading Comments...