Jonny Reid has paid tribute to his team after he and 'Black Beauty' propelled New Zealand to the head of the A1GP nations' standings in Taupo - courtesy of a famous victory on home soil in the sprint race and a stirring fight back in the longer feature event.

The Kiwi entry went into its home meeting lying in third place in the championship, but left two points clear of both France and former leader Switzerland - for whom Neel Jani suffered a miserable and almost point-less weekend - after Reid brought the 70,000-strong crowd to their feet with a brace of superb drives, holding both the German and French entries at bay in the sprint race to register a lights-to-flag win, his sixth in A1GP.

"It's huge, absolutely huge," the 24-year-old enthused of becoming only the second driver after Great Britain's Robbie Kerr to triumph on home turf in the nation vs nation series. "It's the greatest moment in my motorsport career.

"It means a lot to me; the pressure has been on all weekend. It's been all go since I got back from the Christmas break and it's really, really satisfying to get one on the board for everyone.

"The pole position was nice, but now we've got the points and that's what matters in the championship. It's great to have all the home support and I'm just stoked to be number one."

Aptly, the result came on the same weekend that Reid overtook Matt Halliday as New Zealand's most capped A1GP driver, and he backed up his sensational sprint success with a gutsy run to fourth place in the chaotic, 50-lap feature outing, after a poor getaway had dropped him back seven places from his third row starting spot. In order to do so, he had to overcome not only the opposition, but also strong winds that persistently blew dust across the track surface.

"My only disappointment was the start," he admitted as he now looks ahead to the forthcoming round in a fortnight's time at Eastern Creek, one of his favourite circuits on the series calendar, "and I put my hand up for that. I just pushed too hard and the engine bogged down, but to fight back like we did was awesome. I enjoyed the passes on Brazil and South Africa, and the boys (pit-lane crew) really pulled me out of a hole with the pit-stops.

"It was an awesome team effort after that difficult start. To win at home in the sprint race and get in front in the championship is much more than we had hoped for leading into the round. Our target was to overtake France - to get past Switzerland as well when they had such a commanding lead...well, I'm very, very pleased."

 

Comments

Loading Comments...