A1 Grand Prix Taupo, New Zealand results
Sunday, January 21, 2007
It was Taupo, New Zealand's turn to host the sixth race A1 Grand Prix (A1GP) contest, it is also the first A1GP competition this year and the first A1GP race in Taupo ever. The track in Taupo was just finished a week ago.
In qualifying on Saturday, Germany, driver Nicolas "Nico" Hülkenberg, managed to get the fastest two out of four lap times, their first ever pole position; France managed to get second placing, with their first A1GP driver Loic Duval; and Black Beauty, New Zealand, driver Jonny Reid managed to get third place. The qualifying results determine the starting place for the 14-lap sprint race.
The first attempt at the rolling sprint race failed because of line up trouble so it was done again. During the sprint race on Sunday the top three racers did not trade places with Germany, France and New Zealand remaining in their respective order. The finishing place in the sprint race determines the starting place in the 50-lap feature race the same day.
During the standing start feature race Germany managed to get a strong lead, leaving France and New Zealand to battle it out for second place. New Zealand tried to take second place a few times but always not having enough speed to complete the takeover. New Zealand's best chance for a takeover was at lap nine at the pit stop, but France had a one second better pit stop than New Zealand did, keeping their lead.
A few drivers crashed during the feature race and sprint race. A very impressive crash happened during the sprint race between Great Britain and Malaysia, which resulted in Great Britain's front being smashed.
Germany, the overall leader with 65 points, easily managed to get first place, around 19.5 seconds ahead of second place France and third place went to New Zealand. It was Germany's first time that they had managed to get a double win on the same day.
Germany and Nico Hulkenberg, were presented their gold medal by the minister of recreation and sport, Honourable Trevor Mallard, the same person who gave the announcement to the drivers, "Gentlemen, for the pride of your nation, start your engine."
First place, second place and third place got, as well as their respective medals, a unique piece of New Zealand, a Māori carving, which got progressively bigger for each placer.