New boy Ian Dyk gave Team Australia a real lift in the latest round of A1GP in Mexico City last weekend, by sensationally finishing on the podium on his racing debut in the nation vs. nation series.

The 21-year-old claimed third position in the opening race - the squad's first sprint rostrum of the campaign and third overall - after navigating his way safely around the early pile-up that accounted for Germany, Mexico and Brazil.

"I managed to avoid a bit of carnage into turn one and pulled off a couple of passing moves on South Africa and France," he commented afterwards. "Fortunately I came out on top.

"To stand on the podium in my first A1GP race was just completely amazing. We worked really hard through Saturday to get the car right."

Off the track however, it was a different story. The Australian F3 and Porsche Carrera Cup ace tripped upon exiting the car at the end of the sprint, badly bruising his ankle and seriously compromising his feature race efforts.

"As I hopped out of the car in the marshalling area I basically tripped over a gutter and rolled my right ankle quite badly," he explained. "It was a very bad sprain and I had to get the physios to strap it up for me quite tightly. I had very limited movement through the ankle. The boys had to help me around all day."

Dyk battled on, though, completing the 70-lap encounter in eighth place for a further three-point haul. Although his ankle injury was telling at the start, he soon regained his composure and pace to register a second consecutive top ten finish.

"Unfortunately the disappointment of my feature race was all in the start," he stated. "I struggled to get off the line and slipped back to about P10 after lap one or two. From there it was a fight to try and regain positions. My ankle was causing me a fair bit of drama. It hurt quite a bit."

"The pace was still there, though, and the boys gave me an amazing pit-stop that helped me jump a couple of positions. To finish inside the top ten in P8 and score points in both of my races on my debut A1GP event has been a fantastic achievement. It has been amazing to work with a great team like Alan Docking Racing."

Team principal Alan Jones was equally effusive about Dyk's efforts, and eager to build on the outfit's strong form as the series heads into its closing two rounds.

"Ian has been a part of A1 Team Australia since the beginning of the season," the 1980 Formula 1 World Champion said. "We have been building up his skills over the past six months of competition by utilising A1GP's rookie sessions to their full extent.

"Good solid feedback and communication with the team throughout the weekend were pivotal to Ian's success in Mexico City, and we are extremely impressed with his performance. We took advantage of Ian's rookie status to give him more track time on a circuit that is new to A1GP and that only a few of the other drivers have raced on before, and our strategy certainly paid off.

"Performance should be rewarded, and based on Ian's accomplishments this weekend it is natural that he will be a favourite for the next race in Shanghai. Our performance in Mexico City has given the team encouragement to work towards a strong ending to the season and we are firmly focused on our next goal in China."



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