A1 Grand Prix: Team France wins both races

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> A1 Team France took a double victory in the A1 Grand Prix of Nations, at the EuroSpeeday in Lausitz, Germany on Sunday.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:52 IST
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Race day for the A1 Grand Prix of Nations at the EuroSpeedway in Lausitz, 160 kilometres outside Berlin in Germany. Before the start of the Sprint race, A1 GP's founder Sheikh Maktoum led the teams and drivers in observing a minute silence in memory of this weekend's earthquake victims in Pakistan and India. Once the action got underway, there was an exciting start to the Sprint as A1 Team GBR's Robbie Kerr tangled with Scott Speed of Team USA, both spinning off as their race came to an early end. A1 Team France's Nicolas Lapierre went on to take a dominant win in the sprint, with Switzerland's Neel Jani second and Brazilian Nelson Piquet Jr - a double winner on the inaugural A1 season's opening leg at Brands Hatch a fortnight ago - third. Lapierre's victory meant that he retained pole position for the Feature race, with A1 Team Switzerland moving up four positions from sixth to second on the grid. A1 Team USA and A1 Team GBR, meanwhile, had to start from the back of the grid. Once again Nicolas Lapierre quickly moved into the lead. A whole host of teams pitted early, including A1 Teams GBR and USA. The British made a fantastic pit stop but it was to be another day of disappointment for Scott Speed. Another retirement and no points to show for two race weekends that have promised much during the practice sessions. Nelson Piquet Jr., the son of the three-time Formula One world champion, had an unhappy time in the feature race. After a stalled start, he moved up the pack until spinning out in a three-car accident with nine laps left. So Nicholas Lapierre took his second win of the day to round off a marvellous week for A1 Team France. The French will have a difficult decision to make in two weeks time in Portugal with both their drivers - Lapierre and Alexandre Premat - already showing great pace. A1 Team Great Britain's Robbie Kerr was second, and A1 Team Canada's Sean McIntosh third. New Zealand's Jonny Reid was fourth, Switzerland's Neel Jarni fifth, and Ireland's Ralph Firman sixth. So, A1 Team Brazil have narrowly held on to their championship lead with 30 points. They are closely followed by both France and New Zealand, with 29 each. France are clearly A1 Grand Prix's in-form team at the moment. The kit will now be packed up again and shipped off to Estoril in Portugal for the next instalment from A1 Grand Prix on October 23rd. (AP)