Jani wins spectacular feature race
|By Andrew van de Burgt||Sunday, April 12th 2009, 15:21 GMT|
Neel Jani claimed feature race honours for Team Switzerland in an action-packed A1GP outing at the Algarve circuit.
The defending champion benefited from polesitter Robert Doornbos's Team Netherlands car suffering from an electrical fire on the formation lap, and Team Ireland's Adam Carroll picking up a drive-through penalty for jumping the start.
But Jani still had to fend off a determined charge from Team Portugal's Filipe Albuquerque, passing the local hero during the second round of pitstops, while a fired-up Carroll made a race of it in the final laps closing to finish less than a car's length behind at the flag.
Carroll was able to get back to the front following two safety car periods and great pitwork by the Irish squad. But his relief was short lived when another penalty, this time for passing John Martin's Team Australia car under safety car conditions, pushed the Ireland car down to fifth place.
Albuquerque faded to third after a slow final stop but inherited second thanks to Carroll's penalty, with Fairuz Fauzy third for Malaysia.
Team Mexico led for a handful of laps during the stops and took fourth with Salvador Duran, ahead of Carroll.
Team France's Nicolas Prost and Team GB's Dan Clarke who both benefitted from several accidents during the race to finish sixth and seventh.
New Zealand's Earl Bamber and South Africa's Adrian Zaugg were battling on the fringes of the top six when Bamber locked up and clouted the back of Zaugg's car, putting both out of the race.
Shortly afterwards, Vitantonio Liuzzi, who was in the hunt for a podium finish for Italy, tangled with Team USA's Marco Andretti. Both were eliminated and Team Monaco's Clivio Piccione was also taken out in the incident.
Pos Driver Team Time 1. Neel Jani Switzerland 1h10m45.011s 2. Filipe Albuquerque Portugal + 6.786s 3. Fairuz Fauzy Malaysia + 9.705s 4. Salvador Duran Mexico + 16.332s 5. Adam Carroll Ireland + 0.411s (+25s penalty) 6. Nicolas Prost France + 27.322s 7. Dan Clarke Great Britain + 29.880s 8. Ho-Pin Tung China + 34.586s 9. Andre Lotterer Germany + 43.970s 10. Zahir Ali Indonesia + 1m13.993s Retirements: Driver Team Laps Narain Karthikeyan India 39 John Martin Australia 38 Vitantonio Liuzzi Italy 18 Marco Andretti USA 18 Clivio Piccione Monaco 18 Adrian Zaugg South Africa 15 Earl Bamber New Zealand 15 Daniel Morad Lebanon 1 Felipe Guimaraes Brazil 0 Robert Doornbos Netherlands 0