A1GP Brands Hatch Feature: H???lkenberg’s last hurrah

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Nico Hulkenberg, Robbie Kerr, A1 Grand Prix, Brands Hatch, 2007A1 Grand Prix’s second season ended on a high as the Brands Hatch feature race produced a thrilling duel between Germany’s Nico H???lkenberg and Britain’s Robbie Kerr.

H???lkenberg held Kerr off to the flag after making a fractionally better getaway than the British driver at the start. The two raced wheel-to-wheel halfway around the first lap, with H???lkenberg gaining the lead before the safety car was rushed out.

Ian Dyk in the Team Australia car had crashed heavily at the first corner after colliding with Jan Charouz in the Czech car following an ill-judged passing attempt by Dyk. He hit the barriers heavily at Paddock Hill, taking the South African car of Adrian Zaugg with him.

After the restart Germany and Britain made their pit stops quickly which proved crucial as the safety car was scrambled again after just a handful of laps. Bruno Junqueira had spun the Brazilian car out on the exit of Surtees.

This promoted the cars of teams Ireland, Portugal, Switzerland and Indonesia ahead of the leading duo, and both picked off Moreno Soprapto in the Indonesian car before Druids.

Kerr launched a mighty lunge on H???lkenberg at the hairpin the next time round and even passed the German car briefly at Westfield, before the German took the lead back. Kerr pushed him for every one of the remaining thirty laps, occasionally dropping a wheel into the dirt, but couldn’t find a way past.

Italy (Enrico Toccacelo) and India (Narain Karthikeyan) fought just as hard for third place, Toccacelo narrowly claiming the position, although the team were under investigation for possibly having pitted during the second safety car period.

Matt Halliday’s eighth place for New Zealand, behind France’s Loic Duval, meant they held on to second place in the championship ahead of Britain by the slenderest of margins.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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