South Africa had plenty to celebrate in the latest round of A1GP in Mexico City last weekend, as Adrian Zaugg behind the wheel of 'Vulindlela' practically doubled the team's score in one fell swoop.

After qualifying 11th, Zaugg took advantage of the chaos entering the first corner in the sprint race that eliminated Mexico, Brazil and title favourite Germany, to narrowly hold off American rookie Jonathan Summerton for an encouraging fourth place, the GP2 star's best result since his sprint victory in the season-opener at Zandvoort almost six months ago. Better yet, though, was still to come.

After recovering from a tardy getaway in the feature that dropped him back down to sixth, Zaugg subsequently recovered to third position at the chequered flag for a well-merited rostrum finish, only the squad's second of the campaign. Moreover, the result lifted South Africa up to 14th in the nations' points standings, almost within striking distance of the top ten.

"We practised the start a few times," the 20-year-old commented afterwards, "but I didn't get it right. We made good progress during the weekend after battling to match the power of the top teams. We had a good pit-stop strategy, but I was held up by some of the cars after I rejoined the race on my new tyres. This is a good result for the team under the circumstances."

Technical and sporting manager Mike Carroll was also effusive about his young charge's performance, particularly given the problems the team had faced during the meeting.

"We were at a considerable power disadvantage for much of the weekend," he explained, "so to take home the points for fourth in the sprint race and third in the feature event was a great achievement. Adrian did a great job all weekend and thoroughly deserved being on the podium."

 

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