The first ever A1 Grand Prix Sprint race took place on Sunday at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix track and saw Brazilian driver Nelson Piquet Jr lead from rolling start to chequered flag.

In an eighteen lap race largely bereft of the wheel to wheel racing many had hoped for, Piquet simply got his head down and put in the laps. A gap of a second from Alex Premat in the Team France entry assured Piquet's time behind the wheel would be stress free.

Premat had taken second from the Team New Zealand entry with Matt Halliday by going to the inside at Paddock Hill Bend as the twenty-five 500+ horsepower cars took to one of Britain's best race corners for the first time in race conditions.

The end of the first laps saw Dutch spirits dented as the Team Netherlands car came together with Team South Africa's Stephen Simpson coming down to Graham Hill Bend.

South Africa returned to the pits and was then back out in action, abeit two laps down, whilst Verstappen's car was restarted but suspension damage meant he could only find his way back to the pits.

Drivers had four opportunities to make use of the boost button, but despite this overtaking was certainly not the name of the game, although certain drivers were certainly making their presence known to those ahead.

Case in point, newly crowned British F3 International Series champion Alvaro Parente driving the Team Portugal entry was glued to the back of the Team Pakistan car with Adam Kahn at the wheel. Try as he may, Parente was unable to get past, and Kahn drove impressively to keep him behind.

The Feature race follows straight afterwards and it sees pit-stops and double the race distance which should certainly spice things up a bit.

Top ten
1. Brazil
2. France
3. New Zealand
4. Australia
5. Great Britain
6. Mexico
7. Pakistan
8. Portugal
9. Switzerland
10. Ireland

 

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