McIntosh signs off in style

Canadian Sean McIntosh’s reward for winning a thrilling Indonesian A1 Grand Prix from the back of the grid will be a seat on the sidelines in a fortnight’s time.

The 20-year-old claimed his maiden victory by almost two seconds from Malaysia’s Alex Yoong after avoiding a number of incidents throughout the race at the Sentul Circuit.

However, when the next round starts in Monterrey, Mexico, on February 24 – and the race in the USA after that – McIntosh will not be in the driver’s seat.

His place will be taken by new signing Patrick Carpentier.

McIntosh has taken his disappointment with good grace though.

“I have set a high standard for Patrick, the pressure is on him now,” said the Canadian, who retired after one lap of the sprint race and so had to start from the back of the grid in the main event.

“But the team has more points now and I will be back in China (in April) and back strong.”

Canada’s win lifted them to 10th in the overall standings, which are still led by France ahead of Switzerland.

Britain’s Robbie Kerr, who led from the first until the 22nd lap after capitalising on a poor start by France’s Nicolas Lapierre in pole position, was undone by the safety car ruining their pit-stop strategy.

And when he finally did stop on lap 30 his hopes of a win disappeared as a sticking left rear tyre cost him 44.5 seconds, meaning he rejoined the race in 15th.

Team principal John Surtees said: “It was a great shame the team did not capitalise on Robbie’s sterling performance in the qualifying sessions and the Sprint race (where he finished second), and that the strategy which they followed from the pit side did not work out.”

Despite that disappointment, Kerr narrowed the margin between Great Britain and third-placed Team Brazil to two points and he heads to Monterrey in a fortnight keen to keep improving.

“We can always say ‘what if’ but our focus is continually changing,” said Kerr. “We must harness the improvements we made to the car and to our driving.”

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