France wins inaugural A1 Grand Prix season title

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:39 IST

France, with 22-year-old Nicolas Lapierre behind the wheel, wrapped up the championship in the first season of the A1 Grand Prix of Nations.

France wins inaugural A1 Grand Prix season title

Monterey:

France, with 22-year-old Nicolas Lapierre behind the wheel, wrapped up the championship in the first season of the A1 Grand Prix of Nations by finishing second to Mexico in a 30-minute Sprint race Sunday. Mexico's 20-year-old Salvador Duran made it a doubleheader sweep for his team in the Main race, benefiting from a mechanical failure that knocked France out of the lead and the race three laps from the end of the hour event. "It was a very good job by the team (in the Sprint race)," said Lapierre who split time in the cockpit during the season with Alexandre Premat. "We had a very good car; the balance was very good. I just wanted to do a safe second place." Duran's victory in the Sprint put him on the pole for the Main, but Lapierre leaped ahead at the start and ran away with the race, building a 9.175-second lead at one point before the car quit. "I'm very pleased," said Duran, who won a Barber Dodge Pro Series race here in 2003. "It's difficult but sometimes you have opportunities and you have to take them. This time we were able to take advantage." Despite falling back to third at the start, Duran captured the Sprint race for Team Mexico by 1.771 seconds over Team France's Lapierre. Ten points are awarded for a win in both the Sprint and Main races and nine for second. When France finished second in the Sprint race, the resulting 162-121 advantage over Switzerland wrapped up the title with only one race remaining April 2 in China. (AP)

Topics : Formula 1
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