Jonny Reid did all he could to keep New Zealand in the hunt for the A1 Grand Prix title with victory in the Shanghai feature race, but it is Germany who have been confirmed champions after Nico Hulkenberg's third place did more than enough to confirm the inevitable.

Determined to keep his nation in the reckoning as their already slim title hopes ebbed away with every lap, Reid battled his way past Robbie Kerr on lap 16 to deny the Brit a double victory, but even a third win of the season could not prevent Germany from joining France on the winners list with a round left to run.

Despite attempts to find his way back through, Kerr held on to second place to complete another strong weekend for Great Britian that strengthened their third place in the overall standings, with Hulkenberg another two seconds back in third.

A race that saw much of the positions decided by canny strategy rather than opportunistic moves, Kerr got away from his standing start well, slotting in ahead of Reid and Hulkenberg, while Jonathan Summerton got the better of Sebastien Buemi for fourth by the end of the first lap.

The safety car was already out though courtesy of incidents involving Mexico and South Africa, although it would return again on two more occasions as several drivers struggled at times to keep their cars pointing in the right direction on the tricky Chinese circuit.

Another safety car two laps later prompted a flurry of action in the pits, Germany coming in first, followed by Kerr a lap after. New Zealand came in on lap twelve, but was not quite able to leapfrog the British car.

Nonetheless, Reid did not wait much longer to place his decisive move on Kerr, slipping up the inside of the Brit down the finishing straight and making it stick through the first corner.
Immediately setting the fastest lap, Reid went on to keep a safe gap between himself and Kerr to the chequered flag whilst positions behind the duo continued to swap.

Indeed, it was Summerton that had jumped up to third position following the pit stops when his strategy of waiting as late as possible to make his mandatory stop served him well enough to move him ahead of Hulkenberg. However, his star drive was sullied on lap 25 when he spun off at turn seven and put himself out of the race, an incident that prompted another safety car.

It instead moved Hulkenberg - who only needed ninth to seal the trophy - into a quiet third place, a position he would hold to the end of the race to confirm Germany as the champions.

Renger van der Zande proved a worthy substitute for Netherlands, showing an impressive turn of pace to claim fourth position, just ahead of Richard Lyons, who scored Ireland's best finish in their dismal season. Indeed, the extent of their problems had been shown by the team's decision to switch to the spare car between the races having struggled to make their race car work, a move that paid off with six points.

Sean McIntosh scored Canada's first points since Taupo in sixth, ahead of Italy and race one sparring partner France. Sebastien Buemi staged a marvellous comeback to ninth after seeing his hopes of a podium ruined by a slow pit stop, while the tenth and final point was claimed by A1 GP debutant Filip Salaquarda in the Czech entry.

 

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