A stirring performance in front of an adoring home crowd saw Robbie Kerr come agonisingly close to helping Britain steal the runner-up spot away from New Zealand in the nations' standings at Brands Hatch.

After making A1GP history with a dominant victory in the sprint race - thereby making Britain the first country ever to triumph on home turf - Kerr fought champions Germany every inch of the way in the longer feature outing, but was ultimately left ruing a poor start and mid-race error that allowed the Kiwis to retain second place in the championship by the skin of their teeth.

The former British F3 Champion made short work of the sprint, taking full advantage of his pole position to quickly put some fresh air between himself and Nico H?lkenberg, and courtesy of fastest lap along the way the gap between the duo at the chequered flag was a massive eight seconds.

Lining up once more on pole for the feature, Britain was however to be denied a dream victory double on home soil by a tardy getaway that allowed H?lkenberg to catapult into an early lead off the line. A thrilling battle ensued between the pair as they fought tooth-and-nail throughout, but an ill-timed safety car period further stymied Kerr's chances, while a pass exiting Hawthorn would prove futile when Robbie ran wide at the following turn, immediately conceding his advantage.

Although the 27-year-old continued to harry and hustle his German rival - with the gap between the race-leading protagonists rarely more than a second as they left the rest of the field trailing in their wake - in the end it was not quite enough as the F3 Euroseries ace hung on to clinch his ninth victory of the campaign, and New Zealand's Matt Halliday came home eighth to deny Britain the runner-up spot in the title chase by a solitary point.

"It was a fantastic race and a great way to end the season," a nonetheless jubilant Kerr enthused afterwards. "To win on home soil was amazing. Nico defended really well at the start of the feature and from there I just couldn't get close enough to make a move stick - I kept losing all my front-end downforce.

"If I'd had the benefit of clean air then we'd have undoubtedly been quicker and gone for the double, but the team did a great job all weekend and we made our own bit of history, which will hopefully propel us into next season's championship and a full-on title bid!"

"The day started off very well with Robbie's win," added team principal John Surtees. "The feature was all about who could control from the front. It's no disgrace to finish second to the championship-winning team; Germany proved they're worthy title-winners. From our point of view we've finished the season well with three wins and seven straight top-two finishes - but for a bit of luck it's a case of what might have been."

 

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