Salvador Duran, A1 Team Mexico, at the A1 Grand Prix at Laguna Seca, Monterey, USA,
The young Mexican made the most use of his knowledge of Laguna Seca, where he started his racing career with the Skip Barber driving school and won Barber Dodge races.
n a race where threatening rain did not in fact fall, Timo Scheider gave Germany its first podium by finishing second, ahead of Great Britain (Robbie Kerr), Portugal (Alvaro Parente), Canada (Patrick Carpentier), Ireland (Ralph Firman), Italy (Max Papis), Australia (Ryan Briscoe), Austria (Matthias Lauda) and Malaysia (Alex Yoong).
Stephen Simpson failed to finish after crashing Vulindlela into the tyre wall at turn six on lap four while lying 16th.
He had been 10th before pitting on lap 3 for the mandatory pit stop, and changed the wet weather tyres he?d started on for dry weather tyres.
"I made a mistake. I was on the radio to my pit - I was worried that we had lost power because I was passed very easily by Netherlands and Canada on my out lap after the pit stop - and I used a bit more of the curb than usual as I exited turn six and it pulled me into the tyre wall.
"It was very wet on the outside of the curb and we were all trying to avoid the wet area."
A disappointing finish to what has been a most enjoyable weekend at a tough but great circuit. It was a wonderful experience to drive here."
Points after 10 rounds of 11
1 France 163; 2 Switzerland 121; 3 Great Britain 88; 4 Brazil 70; 5 Netherlands 69; 6 New Zealand 67; 7 Portugal 66; 8 Ireland 61; Canada 55; 10 Malaysia 54; 11 Mexico 48; 12 Italy 44; 13 Australia 41; 14 Czech Republic 41; 15 Germany 38; 16 USA 22; 17 South Africa 20; 18 Austria 14; 19 Indonesia 10; 20 Japan 8; 21 China 6; 22 Pakistan 4.
Meanwhile Salvador Duran gave Mexico its first ?World Cup of Motorsport? victory when he took the chequered flag first at the end of the sodden half-hour sprint race.
France (Nicolas Lapierre) finished second and clinched the championship title with three races remaining (yesterday's one-hour feature race and the A1 Grand Prix of China in three weeks' time.
Third was Portugal (Alvaro Parente), ahead of Great Britain (Robbie Kerr), Ireland (Ralph Firman) and Canada (Laguna Seca Champ Car winner Patrick Carpentier).
Team South Africa's Stephen Simpson finished 11th after starting from 15th on the grid. "It was very difficult racing in those conditions, said the 22-year-old Capetonian.
"The first few laps were almost totally blind. The track was very wet and slippery in the beginning and there was water running across the road in several places.
"It was a problem putting the power down. A big challenge.
"But we survived and I'm pleased to have finished under the circumstances, although it was disappointing to just miss out on the points."
The top 10 (and points scorers) was made up of Germany (Timo Scheider), New Zealand (Matt Halliday), United States (Bryan Herta) and Australia (Ryan Briscoe).