A famous tennis player once insisted that, the more he practiced, the luckier he got, and France appears to have been practicing hard for the A1 Grand Prix series after taking its seventh and eighth wins from ten races at Sepang.

Having stated his intent during the morning warm-up, Alex Premat duly collected a win double for les Francais, but this time was at least made to work for the honour. Lining up alongside closest points rival Switzerland, the French car made a sluggish getaway and was bothered into turn one by both Britain and Ireland, the latter making slight contact with the rear of the tricolour machine.

That allowed Robbie Kerr to squeeze the Team GB car into second spot for four laps, but Premat was quick to take advantage of the Briton's brake and handling niggles, slipping past at turn eleven and closing quickly on early leader Neel Jani, eventually out-foxing the Swiss pilot at the start of the final lap.

"During the whole weekend, we have had a very good car," Premat said, "The warm-up always gives a good indication about the race, and I wanted very much to win the sprint race as it is so important for the feature.

"The car was fast from the first lap, but the race was hard, even though it went well, "I had fun driving - and fighting with Jani."

Starting from pole in the feature race, Premat effectively won the 30-lap encounter with a strong-arm move on his rival at the start, swerving across the grid and pushing Jani towards the pit-wall. That allowed the French car to make a break while the Swiss machine was battling with its rivals through turns one and two, with Kerr again slipping in to an early second spot.

Premat, however, had a comfortable lead by the end of lap one and, even though Jani closed in slightly once he had disposed of the British machine, problematic pit-stops for both Switzerland and GB - allied to a near-perfect one from the DAMS team for France - saw the GP2 frontrunner able to cruise home.

"I did a good first lap and could get away, as Jani was the one fighting with Robbie Kerr this time," the victor said, "Then I had a perfect pit-stop and was able to push again. I knew I had a good car, but I was careful towards the end because, four laps before home, it started to rain on some parts of the circuits."

The brace of wins adds to those already accrued by Premat and team-mate Nicolas Lapierre, bring their respective victory tallies to four apiece.

"I am glad to be able to continue what Nicolas and the rest of the team did in Australia," Premat said, "I think 92 points is really a good score for the championship, and this is the result of great teamwork. I had to win because of Nicolas' performance last race, but now it will be his turn again in Dubai."

 

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