Brit Robbie Kerr has pointed the finger at an engine stutter as being the reason why he was unable to take the fight to French driver Nicholas Lapierre after the race restarts in the A1 Grand Prix of Nations at Eastern Creek.

Kerr qualified in fifth place as the A1 GP series took to Australia for the first time, and the Sprint race didn't prove to be an excitement-filled affair, with Kerr coming home in the place where he started.

The longer Feature race, however, promised more with the squad making changes to the setup which they hoped would be enough to propel Kerr up the order in the hour long race.

Kerr wasn't away as well as he would have liked from the line and lost two places in the first corner, but was soon moving up the order. Turn two saw Team Switzerland overtaken, then on the next lap Kerr was able to make a passing move at the difficult to overtake track on A1 Grand Prix double race winner, Nelson Piquet Jr in the Team Brazil car.

A gain of another place came about as Team Portugal's Alvaro Parente was penalised for a jump start, meaning Kerr was now in second place, with the task of trying to close down the exceedingly pacey Team France car of Lapierre.

Kerr's cause was helped by the safety car coming out on several occasions, but each restart Lapierre was able to power away from Kerr with ease.

"It was a good race," said Kerr afterwards. "From the start we got a bit of a bad start and lost a couple of places. Squeezed back into fourth which I was pleased with and then it was a case of getting my head down and chasing Nelson. Caught him - went to go down the inside of him on the first corner but there wasn't quite enough room. But he drove very fairly and gave me just enough space. Then going into the second corner I dived back down the inside of him and we held second place to the end. The guys did a fantastic pit-stop once again but unfortunately in the second part of the race the French car had a bit more pace than us.

"On the restarts under the safety car France could dictate the pace and combined with an engine stutter a couple of time it hurt us - gave France the opportunity to pull out a lead and Switzerland the chance to challenge. Overall it's been a great event - we've moved up in the championship and it's been great fun being in Australia and getting the support from the people here."

 

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