Team France may have enjoyed its eleventh win in the A1 Grand Prix of Nations, but driver Nicholas Lapierre reckoned he also endured the 'toughest and worst' race of his season.

Lapierre, back on driving duties after Alex Premat drove in South Africa, was pipped to pole by Britain's Robbie Kerr but made his way past the Brit on the second lap of the Sprint race and was off into the distance to take his team's eleventh race win of the season.

"After passing Robbie Kerr at turn 12 at the end of the first lap, my sprint race was trouble-free until the last lap," said Lapierre. "The car worked very well. I scored the fastest lap and I was able to extend my lead throughout the race. In the end I finished with quite a large margin over everyone else. It was a fantastic feeling to race in front of so many spectators - the grandstands were full everywhere."

Starting from the front row for the Feature race, with its standing start, everything went wrong for the diminutive and talented Frenchman.

"In the feature race I didn't have such a good start," Lapierre explains. "Then this race turned out to be the toughest and worst of my season. I was fourth after the second lap and then lost my front wing with 33 laps to go and had to go back to the pits for repairs. It was a tough fight from the back of the grid.

"The safety car came out after I spun at the first corner and luckily I was able to drive out of the gravel without damage to the car and could continue chasing down the rest of the drivers. I was determined to finish in a good position and tried to fight my way back into the top ten. It worked out and I finished in eighth place winning another three points."

 

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