Switzerland has moved to the top of the A1 Grand Prix standings after a resounding victory in the opening race of the weekend at Sepang, Malaysia.

Although he only had ten laps to impress, Neel Jani proved to be just as dominant in the race as he was in qualifying, his only moment of drama coming when he ran slightly wide at the start.

Nonetheless, his getaway from pole position had been sufficient to keep Loic Duval behind him, the Frenchman pushing hard to keep Jani honest but ultimately unable to do anything about him in a straight fight.

Duval had all but secured second place at the start when he collided with Great Britain's Oliver Jarvis over the first corners, contact that damaged the latter car, as well as dropped him to sixth as the field shuffled over the opening lap.

Unable to fight back in his compromised car, Jarvis eventually slipped to seventh, behind New Zealand on lap five, to end the race with a rather frustrating four points.

Up at the front, the focus of the battle was over third place, currently occupied by Robert Wickens, the young Canadian doing a sterling job on his A1 GP debut to get a start good enough to leap from fifth to third.

However, from the that point, he was under intense pressure from fellow debutant Michael Ammermuller who, together with Brazil's Sergio Jimenez, followed Wickens every move throughout the entirety of the race. It all eventually came to a climax on the final lap when Ammermuller made a move stick on Wickens, albeit with contact that sent him wide. Jimenez attempted to follow through but had to settle for fifth.

By this point, Jani was already on the way to victory, winning by almost four seconds over Duval after securing easily the fastest lap of the race on his final revolution. The result now moves Switzerland to the head of the standings for the first time, three points up on New Zealand.

France finished second for their second podium of the season, while reigning champions Germany are on the rostrum for the first time this year courtesy of the impressive Ammermuller.

Canada are finally off the mark in fourth, although they will no doubt be frustrated to have just missed out on a podium, while Brazil can celebrate their best result in two seasons with fifth place.

New Zealand and Great Britain followed closely in sixth and seventh, ahead of Netherlands and Ireland, up from 10th and 13th on the grid respectively, while Enrico Toccacelo was an impressive tenth after starting down in 18th place.

 

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