New Zealand made A1GP history today dominating the Taupo Sprint race from lights-to-flag to take its first ever A1GP win at home. It became only the second team to win a home race in the history of the thrilling series. Jonny Reid led from pole to take the chequered flag and score 15 crucial points, moving ahead of France for second in the championship.

Current title leader Switzerland's race was over on the first lap due to a turn one collision, moving the Kiwis to just five points behind the Swiss in the championship battle.

The packed grandstands were on their feet as Reid crossed the line three seconds ahead of defending champion Germany's Christian Vietoris, to secure the first win for New Zealand since taking the double victory in Brno earlier this season. Germany's Vietoris, who picked up a bonus point for clocking the fastest lap of the race on lap nine, started from fourth on the grid but quickly closed in on South Africa and France to take second by lap six.

New Zealand and Germany were joined on the podium by France's Loic Duval, who raced to a strong third place, followed by South Africa's Adrian Zaugg in fourth.

The Netherlands, Ireland and USA finished fifth, sixth and seventh respectively while Portugal recorded its best finish this season when Joao Urbano crossed the line in eighth position. Australia's John Martin and India's Narain Karthikeyan fought hard to take the final two points-paying positions while Pakistan's Adam Khan put in his best performance of the season to secure 11th behind India.

A1 Team Lebanon was on course for its first ever A1GP point when the Czech Republic's Tomas Enge hit Chris Alajajian from behind on the ninth lap, causing him to pit for repairs. The Lebanese team finally finished the race in 15th behind China.

Four cars were involved in a first lap incident, Malaysia, Switzerland, Brazil and Canada tangling into turn one, bringing out the safety car for two laps. Malaysia's Alex Yoong and championship leader Switzerland's Neel Jani were forced out of the action but Canada's Robert Wickens and Brazil's Sergio Jimenez were able to rejoin after pitting for repairs.

All 22 nations are now preparing for the main event of the weekend at Taupo, a thrilling and unpredictable 70-minute Feature race, which starts at 15:00 this afternoon.

New Zealand's Jonny Reid was ecstatic with his first home win and is eager for another in this afternoon's Feature race:

'It's huge, absolutely huge. It's the greatest moment in my motorsport career. It means a lot to me and the pressure's been on all weekend. It's been all go since I got back from the Christmas break and it's really, really satisfying to get one on the board for everyone. The pole position was nice but now we've got the points and that's what matters in the championship. It's great to have all the home support and I'm just stoked to be number one in the Sprint.

'We can definitely move forward in the Feature, it's a long race and we've just got to tune the car a bit more for the conditions and we'll be right there I'm sure. We've got to control the emotions a little bit after this first victory and look for another.'

Germany's Christian Vietoris, who raced to a superb second position, said:

'The main aim was to get on the podium for the Sprint race so I'm really happy. I feel really comfortable and the car now feels fine and I'm looking forward to the Feature race. I'm starting from the first row and with a good start I hope I can do well.'

France's Loic Duval, who finished third in the Sprint race and is on pole for the Feature race, said:

'I think Adrian took a really good start and actually was in front of Jonny. Christian could pass me in the first two corners and then I managed to come back and get on the podium. I had a good chance to overtake the South African car so it wasn't too bad and the car was ok. We are going to start first for the Feature race so I'm still really confident. I have to take a good start and if I am leading from the front then I think we have a really good chance.'

Sprint race results

1 Jonny REID NEW ZEALAND 14 19:25.408
2 Christian VIETORIS GERMANY 14 19:28.600
3 Loic DUVAL FRANCE 14 19:30.307
4 Adrian ZAUGG SOUTH AFRICA 14 19:33.231
6 Adam CARROLL IRELAND 14 19:36.320
7 Jonathan SUMMERTON USA 14 19:36.825
8 Joao URBANO PORTUGAL 14 19:38.723
9 John MARTIN AUSTRALIA 14 19:40.988
10 Narain KARTHIKEYAN INDIA 14 19:48.376
11 Adam KHAN PAKISTAN 14 19:51.181
12 Edoardo PISCOPO ITALY 14 19:51.456
13 Sergio JIMENEZ BRAZIL 14 19:51.949
14 Congfu CHENG CHINA 14 19:52.181
15 Chris ALAJAJIAN LEBANON 14 19:54.891
16 Satrio HERMANTO INDONESIA 14 19:56.515
17 David GARZA MEXICO 14 19:56.757
18 Robert WICKENS CANADA 11 16:15.661
19 Tomas ENGE CZECH REPUBLIC 10 14:51.686
20 Robbie KERR GREAT BRITAIN 9 20:32.011

Fastest lap:
A1 Team Germany's Christian Vietoris set the fastest lap (1m15.740s) of the Sprint race on lap nine.

A1 Team Germany's Christian Vietoris, who has been on sensational form all weekend, secured his first A1GP race win in this afternoon's action-packed Feature race at Taupo Motorsport Park while New Zealand's points haul put the home team at the top of the championship standings.

Germany was joined on the podium by Canada's Robert Wickens in second, the team's best result of the season, and pole-sitter France's Loic Duval in third. The local favourite, New Zealand's Jonny Reid, was on incredible form, racing to a brilliant fourth place, having fallen back seven places to 12th at the start. The points picked up this weekend put New Zealand two points ahead of Switzerland and France in the championship.

Ireland's Adam Carroll put in a superb performance to finish fifth after starting from 13th on the grid despite an early collision which led to an additional pit stop for the emerald green car. He was closely followed by Brazil's Sergio Jimenez who carried out some impressive overtaking manoeuvres on his way to sixth place, having started 11th.

South Africa's Adrian Zaugg, USA's Jonathan Summerton and the Netherlands's Jeroen Bleekemolen crossed the line in seventh, eighth and ninth place respectively while Mexico's David Garza drove hard from 15th on the grid to finish 10th and pick up his first point for the team on only his second A1GP race outing.

Previous championship leader Switzerland's Neel Jani endured a difficult afternoon, receiving two drive through penalties for a false start and for overtaking under yellow flags. The Swiss team picked up a bonus point for the fastest lap and finally crossed the line a disappointing 14th behind Portugal. Joao Urbano started sixth and had been on course to score Portugal's best result of the season, running in third for 12 laps of the race, until he was hit with a drive through penalty for crossing the white line on entering the pit lane.

Eight of the 22 teams failed to finish the race, including China's Congfu Cheng, who spun off the track from seventh place, as many were victims of the dusty and slippery track conditions.

A1GP rookie Robert Wickens, who was awarded third place in Malaysia earlier this season after the podium ceremony had been completed, was encouraged by his second place finish and thrilled that he and his Canadian team-mates were able to enjoy the celebrations:

'We're definitely making steps in right direction, from our first race in Zandvoort to where we are now. The car has improved a lot and the team finally got a decent result that we all deserve. We got a podium in Malaysia but I wasn't on it so this time the team got to celebrate and taste the champagne, so it was a great experience. The whole team did a great job today. There is really only one passing opportunity out on track and the team did an outstanding job in the pits.'

Christian Vietoris, who secured second in the Sprint race and a sensational win in the Feature, was delighted with his team's performance this weekend:

'It was a really brilliant weekend for us. The car was a little bit off the pace on Friday but we improved the car all weekend and we were on the pace for qualifying and the Sprint race this morning. The team did two good pit stops in the Feature which put me to the front and held me there. It was really hard to keep Loic Duval behind me, especially on the long back straight, but we managed to hold position and I am very happy.'

France's Loic Duval, who started the race from pole position for the first time this season, was disappointed with his team's third place finish:

'This race was there for us and we lost it. Sometimes it can happen. We were too slow in the pits and we lost first position but there's nothing more to say about that. It's really hard to pass here but I did the maximum I could. I was maybe more trying to push him (Christian Vietoris) to do a mistake because it was really difficult to overtake, but he didn't so he was leading and it was really difficult for me to try anything. That's why we did one lap more than him before the pit stop to try to get in front of him but then we lost a bit of time in the pit stop again, so we lost two positions. There is nothing else for me to say.'

New Zealand now leads the championship on 82 points, two ahead of Switzerland and France who are equal on 80 points.

The championship remains in the Southern Hemisphere and the teams will be back on track in two weeks time for round six in Sydney, Australia on 1-3 February 2008.

Feature race results
1 Christian VIETORIS GERMANY 50 1:10:40.168
2 Robert WICKENS CANADA 50 1:10:41.348
3 Loic DUVAL FRANCE 50 1:10:42.193
4 Jonny REID NEW ZEALAND 50 1:10:43.199
5 Adam CARROLL IRELAND 50 1:10:44.256
6 Sergio JIMENEZ BRAZIL 50 1:10:45.285
7 Adrian ZAUGG SOUTH AFRICA 50 1:10:50.275
8 Jonathan SUMMERTON USA 50 1:10:50.802
9 Jeroen BLEEKEMOLEN NETHERLANDS 50 1:10:51.343
10 David GARZA MEXICO 50 1:10:59.646
11 Adam KHAN PAKISTAN 50 1:11:05.727
12 Tomas ENGE CZECH REPUBLIC 50 1:11:06.674
13 Joao URBANO PORTUGAL 50 1:11:10.016
14 Neel JANI SWITZERLAND 50 1:11:14.619
15 Congfu CHENG CHINA 43 1:01:52.027
16 Alex YOONG MALAYSIA 38 0:55:37.015
17 John MARTIN AUSTRALIA 37 1:11:03.435
18 Satrio HERMANTO INDONESIA 21 0:30:39.755
19 Robbie KERR GREAT BRITAIN 4 0:06:21.667
20 Edoardo PISCOPO ITALY 3 0:04:57.448
21 Chris ALAJAJIAN LEBANON 3 0:04:57.889
22 Narain KARTHIKEYAN INDIA 1 0:03:20.795

2007/08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport points standings
1 New Zealand 82
2 Switzerland 80
3 France 80
4 Germany 65
5 South Africa 59
6 Ireland 50
7 Netherlands 49
8 Great Britain 48
9 India 28
10 China 28
11 Brazil 27
12 Canada 22
13 Mexico 18
14 Czech Republic 10
15 USA 9
16 Portugal 5
17 Italy 4
18 Australia 4
19 Malaysia 2

Fastest lap:
A1 Team Switzerland set the fastest lap in the Feature race, lapping Taupo circuit in 1m.14.679s with a speed of 160.1 kph on lap 45 of the 52 lap race.

Next race:
A1GP Sydney, Australia, 1-3 February 2008.

Reporting by A1GP.com

All pictures A1GP.com.


Jonny Reid delighted the home fans with a win for Team New Zealand.

Christian Vietoris (Team Germany) took second.

Loic Duval completed the podium for Team France.

Adrian Zaugg put Team South Africa back at the front.

Jeroen Bleekemolen prepares to get into the 5th placed Team Netherlands car.

Adam Carroll was a competitive sixth.

Seventh for Team USA.

Narain Karthikeyan (Team India) drove superbly to take 10th from the back of the grid.

Christian Vietoris, Jonny Reid and Loic Duval on the Sprint Race podium.


Christian Vietoris aided by a superb pitstop from Team Germany won the Feature Race.

Rob Wickens gave Team Canada something to cheer with second spot.

A slow pitstop hampered Loic Duval (Team France).

Jonny Reid made a very poor start but great work from the Team New Zealand pitcrew and some fast laps saw a 4th place finish

5th for Adam Carroll (Team Ireland).

Sergio Jimenez (Team Brazil) drove well to claim 6th.

7th for Adrian Zaugg (Team South Africa).

Jonathan Summerton (Team USA) was 8th.

A spin ruined Team Netherlands and Jeroen Bleekemolen's chances.

David Garza (Team Mexico) rounded off the top ten.

Robbie Kerr (Team Great Britain) was an early retirement.

Team Switzerland had a race to forget.

Satrio Hermanto was one of several spinners.

Kiwi grid girls.