France's Lapierre Wins Sprint Race

France's Nicolas Lapierre claimed a lights-to-flag victory from pole position in the A1 Grand Prix sprint race at EuroSpeedway Lausitz

Lapierre just held off fellow front-row starter Scott Speed in the Team USA entry, who edged ahead on the outside line in the run to the first corner. However, having ceded the first turn to Lapierre, Speed turned in and hit the Team Great Britain car of Robbie Kerr.

Both Speed and Kerr went off the track and into retirement, triggering a melee in their wake which scrambled the order and left several cars with terminal damage, including the Team Netherlands car of Jos Verstappen and Pakistan's Adam Khan.

Swiss driver Neel Jani escaped the carnage to settle into second place ahead Team Brazil's Nelson Piquet Junior, although with the former British Formula Three driver in close attendance he was under pressure.

New Zealand debutant Jonny Reid leaped from 14th on the grid to run fourth, with Germany's Timo Scheider pressuring him. Also benefitting from the confusion was ex-MInardi Grand Prix driver Alex Yoong, who found himself sixth from 18th on the grid with Canada's Sean McIntosh hot on his heels.

The safety car was deployed on the fourth lap to clear up the debris from Khan's car, which had limped on for several laps and scattered body parts on the main straight. Despite the interruption, Lapierre picked up where he had left off by blasting ahead at the restart to take a comfortable lead he would never use.

Piquet continued to harry Jani to the finish, but couldn't launch a serious overtaking attempt even with the use of 30bhp power boost button. Behind them, Reid spent the first few laps after the safety car desperately holding off Scheider, before the German settled for fifth place.

Yoong retained sixth place to the finish, but several times McIntosh looked set to get ahead. At one stage there were four cars queued up behind the Malaysian, with ex-Formula 3000 race winner Enrico Toccacelo almost passing both before settling for eighth.

Ireland's Ralph Firman battled back to ninth after being delayed at the first corner, leading home the Team Japan entry of fellow ex-F1 racer Hideki Noda.

The finishing order for the sprint race dictates the order for the one-hour feature race, which also features mandatory pitstops.

Pos  Country          Time
 1.  France           30:10.429
 2.  Switzerland      +   2.013
 3.  Brazil           +   2.458
 4.  New Zealand      +   8.046
 5.  Germany          +   8.851
 6.  China            +  16.182
 7.  Malaysia         +  23.419
 8.  Canada           +  24.009
 9.  Mexico           +  25.409
10.  Ireland          +  26.581
11.  Japan            +  27.842
12.  Czech Republic   +  28.242
13.  South Africa     +  40.261
14.  Austria          +  41.007
15.  Indonesia        +  42.635
16.  Australia        +  43.456
17.  India            +  43.879
18.  Italy            +  49.525 *
19.  Lebanon          + 11 Laps
20.  Portugal         + 15 Laps
21.  Pakistan         + 16 Laps
22.  Netherlands      + 17 Laps
23.  USA              + 18 Laps
24.  Great Britain    + 18 Laps

* includes 25-second penalty
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