A1GP China Feature: Germany are champions

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Third place in the Shanghai was good enough to make Team Germany the second ever A1 Grand Prix champions.

Jonny Reid of New Zealand won the race after passing British driver Robbie Kerr for the lead. Nico Hulkenberg finished third – but the German driver was conservatively minded as he calmly took the necessary points to wrap up the title with two race to spare.

Spots of rain began to fall as the drivers sat on the grid before the race. Meanwhile the New Zealand crew were preoccupied with a problem at the back of Jonny Reid’s car, making quick repairs in the dying minutes before the start.

The top three of Kerr, Reid and Hulkenberg held their positions at the start but behind them minor contact between a few drivers left debris on the track and required the appearance of the safety car.

At the restart Reid hung close to Kerr but the British driver held him to the outside of turn one and stayed ahead. At turn six the Briton ran wide and Reid came back at him again, their battle from the first race well and truly on again.

After a handful of frantic laps the safety car came back out again to recover the Mexican car of Sergio Perez which was stranded in the gravel at turn 14.

Kerr held position after the second restart and with the cars on lap eight the pit window was now open. Germany was the first of the leaders to pit and Italy (Enrico Toccacelo) joined him, but Hulkenberg’s stop was slow.

The British car stopped the next time around while Kerr stayed out, and got back out of the pits comfortably ahead of the German car. Nor could Reid get back out ahead of the British driver after his stop, but American driver Jonathan Summerton surprisingly leap-frogged Hulkenberg for third.

Reid, with fresher tyres, ran close to Kerr and capitalised when the Briton was briefly help up lapping Pakistan’s Nur Ali. Kerr failed to defend the inside of the first corner and Reid dived through.

Summerton threw away third place with an unforced spin which also brought out the safety car for the third time.

Reid made a clinical restart while Hulkenberg attacked Kerr on the outside of turn one while the Netherlands’ Renger van der Zande closed on the pair of them.

But the race settled from this point onwards and Reid took a deserved win. Kerr finished second ahead of the British round at Brands Hatch in two weeks, but Hulkenberg, third, was the happiest man on the podium.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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