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DATE News (chronologically)
02/25/07
a1gp
Hülkenberg wins Durban sprint race  Durban, South Africa - A1 Team Germany has taken pole position for this afternoon's Durban Feature race having comfortably won the 20-minute Sprint race on the challenging street circuit. Nico Hülkenberg took the lead from the rolling start but as the field followed through the tight turn one, the action began. Brazil, Lebanon and Malaysia all sustained damage from contact with other cars and an error from fourth placed Switzerland allowed the Netherlands to squeeze by.

As the three damaged cars pulled into the pits at the end of lap one, Germany's Nico Hülkenberg worked to increase his lead which he then maintained throughout the duration of the race. Brazil and Lebanon were both able to repair the damage sustained and return to the race, but for Malaysia it was too severe and the team retired.

While Germany continued to lead, battles for position continued further down the field. Singapore's bad weekend continued as Christian Murchison, who had been making his way up from a 22nd on the grid, thanks to a spin during qualifying, put the car in the tire wall at turn four in an unforced error on lap eight.

One lap later, Mexico's Salvador Duran pulled off at turn five suffering transmission failure while the USA's Jonathan Summerton (right) retired on lap 12 with drive line problems.

The seventh race win for Hülkenberg has put him on a par with A1 Team France's 2005/06 season driver Alexandre Premat, who holds the record for the most A1GP race wins by a single driver.

Commenting on his win and preparations for the upcoming 70-minute Feature race, Hülkenberg said: 'In the beginning it was pretty close, but the gap became bigger so it was more comfortable. The track was a bit slippery, it was not an easy race. When you are driving your adrenaline is pumping and you are focused so you do not feel the heat. However, it is very hot out here so it is important that we drink a lot of water.'

Loic Duval driving the second placed French car went on to say: 'I had a great start and a great race, but found some difficulty to overtake. I lost some time behind the Pakistan team despite the blue flag and found Matt gaining ground. It is a difficult track to drive, to stay on the race line and to overtake. The competition looks close and I am looking forward to the feature race this afternoon.'

New Zealand's Matt Halliday commented: 'It is a bit chaotic out there and found it difficult to stop the French car as Loic came around the inside to overtake. It is going to be a difficult Feature race, and the heat is tough on the drivers and the car. It will be important to maintain the tires and the car as well as get a good head start.'

So far it has not been the best weekend for A1 Team GBR and they were only able to make up one place from their starting position. This has meant the team has now dropped to sixth in the championship points, with both the Netherlands and Switzerland overtaking them.

Sprint race results

PosDriver              A1 Team        Time      Gap First
1  Nico HÜLKENBERG     GERMANY        19:57.070 -
2  Loic DUVAL          FRANCE         19:59.851 +2.781
3  Matt HALLIDAY       NEW ZEALAND    20:00.560 +3.490
4  Jeroen BLEEKEMOLEN  NETHERLANDS    20:03.426 +6.356
5  Neel JANI           SWITZERLAND    20:07.767 +10.697
6  Richard LYONS       IRELAND        20:11.426 +14.356
7  Adrian ZAUGG        SOUTH AFRICA   20:14.179 +17.109
8  Alvaro PARENTE      PORTUGAL       20:16.017 +18.947
9  Robbie KERR         GREAT BRITAIN  20:16.986 +19.916
10 Ananda MIKOLA       INDONESIA      20:17.941 +20.871
11 Tomas ENGE          CZECH REPUBLIC 20:19.537 +22.467
12 Enrico TOCCACELO    ITALY          20:20.987 +23.917
13 James HINCHCLIFFE   CANADA         20:30.597 +33.527
14 Ho-Pin TUNG         CHINA          20:39.153 +42.083
15 Narain KARTHIKEYAN  INDIA          20:41.155 +44.085
16 Karl REINDLER       AUSTRALIA      21:15.050 +1:17.980
17 Bruno JUNQUEIRA     BRAZIL         20:32.104 1 Lap
18 Nur ALI             PAKISTAN       20:51.819 1 Lap
19 Allam KHODAIR       LEBANON        21:14.936 1 Lap
20 Jonathan SUMMERTON  USA            16:16.638 3 Laps
21 Salvador DURAN      MEXICO         12:07.091 6 Laps
22 Christian MURCHISON SINGAPORE      11:02.387 7 Laps

Fastest lap: A1 Team Germany set the fastest lap of the Sprint race with a speed of 146.4 kph on lap four.

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