Jani takes maiden Swiss win

Switzerland's Neel Jani scored his country's first win in the A1 Grand Prix series in a thrilling sprint race at Dubai on Sunday

Jani takes maiden Swiss win

From pole position, Jani made an excellent getaway at the rolling start and took full advantage as fellow front row starter Nicolas Lapierre of France was slow to react, allowing Ireland's Ralph Firman to leap into second before Turn 1.

Lapierre challenged Firman on the exit of the opening corner, and contact was made between them, dropping Lapierre to sixth.

That promoted Great Britain's Robbie Kerr to third, with Nelson Piquet right behind him. But then Piquet was forced out of the race on lap two, and his car became the first in history to be retrieved from its resting place by helicopter!

Lapierre was on the move, passing Italy's Enrico Toccacelo and then slicing past Kerr for third. Under pressure from Toccacelo, Kerr then spun down to ninth on lap six. By this point, Jani had pulled out a 3.5 second lead over Firman, Lapierre, Toccacelo and the Czech Republic's Tomas Enge.

After hassling Firman for lap after lap, Lapierre suddenly lost 2 seconds on lap 13, and then compounded matters by spinning at Turn 14 and dropping to seventh. Then it was Firman's turn to lose speed, and he was powerless to stop Toccacelo (from 11th on the grid) and Enge from nipping past in the final corners to grab second and third places.

Firman finished fourth, ahead of Canada's Sean McIntosh and Indonesia's Ananda Mikola, who just held off Lapierre to the flag.

Pos  Driver              Team            Time
 1.  Neel Jani           Switzerland     26:56.613
 2.  Enrico Toccacelo    Italy           +   8.247
 3.  Tomas Enge          Czech Republic  +   9.024
 4.  Ralph Firman        Ireland         +   9.961
 5.  Sean McIntosh       Canada          +  11.192
 6.  Ananda Mikola       Indonesia       +  13.396
 7.  Nicolas Lapierre    France          +  13.926
 8.  Alvaro Parente      Portugal        +  14.884
 9.  Robbie Kerr         Great Britain   +  15.437
10.  Alex Yoong          Malaysia        +  16.621
11.  Jos Verstappen      Netherlands     +  17.610
12.  Stephen Simpson     South Africa    +  18.306
13.  Philip Giebler      USA             +  22.042
14.  Hayanari Shimoda    Japan           +  23.367
15.  Matt Halliday       New Zealand     +  28.865
16.  Adam Khan           Pakistan        +  29.397
17.  Mathias Lauda       Austria         +  30.688
18.  Salvador Duran      Mexico          +  31.669
19.  Tengyi Jiang        China           +  35.119
20.  Armaan Ebrahim      India           +  44.885
21.  Will Davison        Australia       +   1 Lap
22.  Adrian Sutil        Germany         + 13 Laps
23.  Nelson Piquet Jr    Brazil          + 14 Laps
24.  Basil Shaaban       Lebanon         + 15 Laps
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Switzerland secure pole in Dubai
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Switzerland secure pole in Dubai

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