Inaugural A1GP world champions France ended their sophomore campaign in the nation vs. nation series with a brace of solid points-scoring races in the Brands Hatch finale to preserve their fourth position in the title standings.

It could have been even better, though, as Loic Duval planted the French machine on the second row of the starting grid in third spot for the shorter sprint race. The Formula Nippon and Super GT ace ran wide at turn eight, however, ceding a place to the Italian entry driven by Enrico Toccacelo, and in the feature a poor start and two ill-timed safety car periods left the Tricolore-themed car down in seventh position at the chequered flag.

"In the first race I got blocked in by (Nico) H?lkenberg so I couldn't make any gain at the start," the 24-year-old explained. "Then I almost lost the car at turn eight which let Toccacelo past me. I tried to attack him but there wasn't much I could do.

"The feature race was even more frustrating when I lost four places at the start. Then the safety car came out and I even saw Canada pass me under it. I would have really liked to have finished on the podium for my team and my mechanics who did such good work, but that's the way it went this time.

"I'm now looking ahead to next year and the start of the third season at Zandvoort - I am already planning the strategy to score points for the team. Meanwhile I'll fly back to Japan for my next GT race in Fuji and the remainder of the season. Thanks to all in the team for their dedication."

A1 Team France general manager Eric Boullier was also confident of a strong assault on the 2007-08 honours, as the squad bids to regain its crown it clinched in A1GP's debut campaign.

"It's always emotional when a season comes to an end," he remarked. "We have been competitive even if we could not match our success last year. I would like to congratulate Germany and Nico H?lkenberg for their excellent season, but we'll be there next year with young, promising, talented drivers as we were this year, ready to fight back and determined to finish the season on a much stronger note."

 

Comments

Loading Comments...