RAB CAPITAL A1GP BRANDS HATCH, GREAT BRITAIN DRIVERS NOMINATED FOR QUALIFYING
Great Britain - A1 Team France proved this weekend's RAB Capital A1GP Brands Hatch, Great Britain won't be an easy run for the home team by topping the timing sheets in this morning's third official practice session. Lapping the Brands Hatch GP circuit in 1.15.296, France's Loic Duval beat GBR's Robbie Kerr by three hundredths of a second although the slightly windier conditions meant they were still off yesterday's pace set by the two British drivers.
A1 Team USA's Jonathan Summerton was third quickest ahead of a strong showing for A1 Team Portugal's Alvaro Parente in fourth. Germany, who secured the 2006/07 season title with their third place in the Feature race in Shanghai last time out, put in the sixth fastest lap with A1 Team New Zealand, currently lying second in the points ahead of the home team, clocked the ninth fastest time.
The entire field was separated by just 3.374 seconds, making it one of the smallest gaps between first and last, and demonstrating the competitiveness of all the teams. For A1 Team Ireland, who are also expecting a strong crowd of supporters to their local race, the tight field means they are still in with a chance of impressing the fans despite their 'consistent' 17th place finish in the event's three practice sessions
The session was halted with a minute still to run when A1 Team Pakistan's Nur Ali took a trip into the gravel traps bringing out the red flag.
While it has been anticipated that the cars could better the times set at the last A1GP race at Brands Hatch, one thing that is certain is the reliability of the series equipment. In practice on Saturday the A1GP engine passed the 300,000 kilometre mark without a single failure. This distance includes all the testing and racing mileage since the car turned a wheel in its first test in 2004.
The teams now have to decide on their set ups before qualifying for the Sprint race begins at the later time of 15.45 this afternoon. Qualifying consists of four 15 minute sessions with a five minute break between each. Only one driver per A1 Team is allowed to take part in Qualifying and that driver must have completed at least three timed laps in an Official Practice session. Each driver is limited to three laps - effectively one "flying lap" - per session and must record at least two times, an aggregate of which will determine that A1 Team's position on the grid for Sunday's Sprint race. The grid for the Feature race will be determined by the outcome of the Sprint race.
<pre> Nominated drivers for Qualifying - RAB Capital A1GP Brands Hatch, Great Britain
A1 Team Driver Australia Ian Dyk Brazil Bruno Junqueira Canada Sean McIntosh China Congfu Cheng Czech Republic Jan Charouz France Loic Duval Germany Nico Hulkenberg Great Britain Robbie Kerr India Narain Karthikeyan Indonesia Moreno Soeprapto Ireland Richard Lyons Italy Enrico Toccacelo Lebanon Allam Khodair Malaysia Alex Yoong Mexico Juan Pablo Garcia Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen New Zealand Matt Halliday Pakistan Nur Ali Portugal Alvaro Parente South Africa Adrian Zaugg Switzerland Sebastien Buemi USA Jonathan Summerton </pre> -credit: a1gp