Another starring performance from A1 Grand Prix Team Switzerland's Neel Jani has kept the team in contention for the inaugural A1 Grand Prix Championship of Nations after the youngster claimed another pair of podium finishes in round three of the championship in Portugal on Sunday.

With Switzerland's neighbours France threatening to run away with the championship following another double win on Sunday, Jani's third place effort in the 18-lap sprint race and runner-up spot in the 36 lap feature has kept Switzerland safely in the top three in the overall standings, 16 points behind the French team and eight points behind Jani's race one rivals Brazil.

Jani spent the sprint race trying to pass Brazil's Nelson Piquet Jr as France's Alexandre Premat controlled the race from the front. Crossing the line less than two seconds behind the Brazilian, Jani earned himself a place on the second row of the grid for the feature race and while a poor start dropped him back a couple of spots, a clean, quick pit stop left him in second place when the third of three safety car periods ended with 16 laps remaining.

For a brief moment it looked as though Jani might have been able to squeeze past Premat for the lead but after his initial attempt was thwarted, Premat escaped to record a comfortable victory.

"My pit stop was perfect and I raced hard to finish the race in second," commented Jani, who finished with a comfortable margin in hand over third place finisher Ralph Firman driving for Team Ireland. "The team did a great job with the set up, we had two good starts and two good races. In the final part of the race it was quite easy to keep pace with France even if I couldn't pass Pr?mat. At Eastern Creek, we'll have another go and hopefully we can win our first race."

Team manager Max Welti added: "Neel Jani did an excellent job today and drove a strong and intelligent race. He really deserves his 2nd place."

Thanks to his four consecutive podium finishes, Jani has helped elevate Switzerland into a strong position in the championship as only four other nations remain within 30 points of early leaders France.

 

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