A1 Team Germany has maintained its lead in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport despite suffering a first retirement of the season at Brno.

Nico Hulkenberg, who took a stunning win in the feature race at Zandvoort, put the disappointment of an early retirement in the Czech sprint race firmly behind him in the second race of the weekend as he stormed through the field from 16th on the grid to finish fourth and keep a one point lead over Team Mexico in the standings.

After qualifying on the front row for the sprint race, Hulkenberg was hopeful of fighting at the front of the 23 car field but instead found himself watching from the sidelines after a few hundred metres: A collision with the Team NZ car shortly after the race started saw both cars retire and left the German team with work to do for the feature race - with Hulkenberg's cars having suffered suspension and body damage and also requiring a new driveshaft.

From 16th place on the grid for the feature race, Hulkenberg wasted no time in starting his fight back and made up seven places on the opening lap alone. He briefly lost two positions but reclaimed them before the end of the sixth lap and by lap 16 he was running in fifth place.

When Team Canada made a mistake four laps before the chequered flag, the 19-year old used his chance and jumped up another place which was enough to ensure that the German team will lead A1GP into China next month for the third race of the year.

"A fantastic result bearing in mind how unlucky we were in the sprint race after the New Zealander Jonny Reid jinked to the left, hit my car and I ran out of road," Hulkenberg said. "Afterwards, the mechanics really did have a huge amount of work, which they sorted perfectly. They gave me a beautifully handling car again - thank you very much guys! I was able to attack immediately in the main race and overtook seven cars. I then lost two places to the Brazilian and New Zealand drivers, but I had overtaken them again by the completion of the sixth lap.

"I was able to get past the teams from Great Britain and the Netherlands in the pit lane owing to the excellent pit stop my team made. I climbed back up to fifth place after. I was also able to overtake the Canadian James Hinchcliffe after he made a mistake. I hadn't dreamt of finishing fourth before the race - it was absolutely fantastic."

Seat holder Willi Weber was happy with the way the weekend ended, and was impressed with the continuing pace displayed by his young driver.

"Nico was impressive in both qualifying and in the race in Brno," he said. "It's a shame that he went away from the sprint empty handed after such a strong showing this weekend. I was even more impressed with the way he carved through the field. His excellent performance bode well for the future. Nominating him for our team was a good move. The weekend ended on a good note, since A1 Team Germany travels to the next race as championship leader."

 

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