Canada’s teenage star Robert Wickens took a classy win from pole position in the A1 Grand Prix sprint race at Durban. He fended off Brazil’s Bruno Junquiera at the start and shot into an immediate two second lead as Junqueira and Oliver Jarvis were assaulted by New Zealand’s Jonny Reid at the first corner.
Jarvis took up second place ahead of Neel Jani, with Junquiera falling back with a damaged nose wing after clipping Jani at the start of the second lap. Reid meanwhile fell to the back of the field after pitting for a new front nose.
Junquiera held on gamely until his front wing finally collapsed, forcing him into the pits. Once he’d had the wing replaced he returned to the track, only to crash spectacularly with six laps to go.
That forced an appearance from the safety car, robbing Wickens of his five second lead over Jarvis. But the British driver was struggling with damage from the encounter with Reid and could do nothing to pass Wickens at the re-start.
Further back Jeroen Bleekemolen was defending fifth place from Michael Ammermuller. But impatience got the better of Ammermuller, who ran into the back of Bleekemolen at the last turn.
With both cars in the wall and only one lap to go the stewards instantly threw the red flag, handing Wickens a well deserved win. Jarvis kept Jani back for second with Franky Cheng fourth for China. Bleekemolen was restored to fifth as the results were taken from one lap before the accident, but Ammermuller was excluded for causing an avoidable accident.
Jani’s third place puts Switzerland back in the lead of the championship with 107 points to New Zealand’s 97 and France’s 96.
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