News of 9th November 2008

Nicolas Prost: great race, bad result!

Today, A1 Team France took part in the Short and Feature races in the second round of the 2008-09 A1 World Cup of Motorsport Championship on the Chengdu circuit in China. Nicolas Prost had a tough job ahead of him as he started from 6th and 12th places respectively. But he put on a good show and scored a point for A1 Team France, which leaves China in 2nd place in the overall classification.

Nicolas lost 2 places in the flying start for the Short race. He quickly closed the gap to his rivals, but was unable to find a way past on the twisty track that provided few overtaking opportunities.

In the Feature race, A1 GP had its first standing start of the season. Nicolas made a perfect getaway and he finished lap 1 in 9th place and began to fight his way back up though the field. After the second round of pit stops he gained another 2 places and closed the gap to Australia. Nicolas was all fired up by his lap times that were comparable to those of the front-runners, and he tried to pass his rival but it didn't work out. The A1 France Team's car became unbalanced under braking, and ended up in the gravel trap bringing its race to an abrupt halt.

Olivier Panis, sporting director: 'Apart from the final result, which may look a little disappointing, we're glad we've found a new driver who's quick and consistent, and capable of defending A1 Team France's colours in a competitive fashion. A couple of minor things dictated the course of our weekend, as is often the case in motor racing. With a little bit of luck we'd have opened the champagne! This evening we're in second place in the overall classification and we're feeling relaxed about the remainder of the championship: our car's quick; our strategies are the right ones and our aim is still the title!'

Nicolas Prost said: 'Of course, I'm frustrated at not having scored more points this weekend. This being said there are a lot of positive elements to be taken from what happened. I really didn't know what to expect on arriving in Chengdu, and I was very happy to see that I was able to lap in the times of the front-runners straight away. Our two races were really decided yesterday in qualifying. If things had worked out better we'd have started from the front row, and the result would have been very different. By starting from twelfth spot in the Feature event I had to drive an aggressive race and take risks. It's better to end up in the gravel trap than to come home in an anonymous tenth place! I've learned a lot this weekend, and I'm reassured in my ability to get the very best out of the new A1 GP single-seater.'

Official press release of A1 Team France

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