A1 TEAM GBR AND JARVIS TARGETING PODIUMS IN SOUTH AFRICA Durban, South Africa: - A1 Team Great Britain's Oliver Jarvis will begin tomorrow's Sprint and Feature races in Durban, South Africa, from the second row of the grid in fourth place. After...
A1 TEAM GBR AND JARVIS TARGETING PODIUMS IN SOUTH AFRICA
Durban, South Africa: - A1 Team Great Britain's Oliver Jarvis will begin tomorrow's Sprint and Feature races in Durban, South Africa, from the second row of the grid in fourth place. After an extremely competitive afternoon, which saw the top four drivers in both the Sprint and Feature qualifying sessions separated by just two tenths of a second, A1 Team GBR's Oliver Jarvis will begin both races from fourth on the grid.
After yesterday's encouraging practice, this morning's session also proved to be strong for Team GBR and Jarvis. Despite a disrupted hour which saw four red flag periods, Oliver completed 26 laps, working on set-up for this afternoon's qualifying and tomorrow's races. On Oliver's 16th lap he moved up to second fastest, just two tenths of a second behind Team Switzerland. He remained in a strong second position until four minutes before the end, when he overshot the hairpin at turn 1, grazing the tyre wall and stalling the engine. He looked set to finish second before France and Germany moved ahead on the last lap. Oliver's best lap of 1:18.539 was then the fourth fastest time of the session.
With Union flags flying from the apartment blocks lining the street circuit, Oliver Jarvis prepared for this afternoon's qualifying sessions. In first qualifying for the Sprint race the red flag was shown after just six cars had recorded a time and the session was not restarted. GBR did not set a time in the session and it was all down to the second segment. The team took no chances on the unforgiving track, with Jarvis heading out early. The 24-year-old set a brilliant lap time of 1:18.410 four minutes into the session, putting himself on provisional pole position. As the track cleaned up later on Teams Canada, Brasil and New Zealand were able to improve on Oliver's time, putting Team GBR on the second row of the grid in fourth position for the Sprint race.
In first qualifying for the Feature race Oliver continued to impress, setting his fastest lap of 1:17.916 four minutes into the session and once again sitting on provisional pole position. In the dying seconds of the 15-minute segment Team Switzerland improved on Oliver's lap by exactly one tenth of a second, putting Team GBR into provisional second. On his final qualifying segment, Jarvis put everything he had into the hot lap, setting a time of 1:17.917, just one thousandth of a second slower than his previous lap time. Once again though, lap times fell as the session came to a close and Teams Canada and New Zealand were able to slot between Switzerland and GBR, meaning Oliver will also begin the Feature race from fourth on the grid.
Oliver Jarvis: "I think we definitely had the pace to be on the front row for both races. We got caught out by the red flag in Sprint qualifying 1, as did many other teams, so didn't set a lap. But we managed to set a good time in Sprint qualifying 2 though unfortunately got held up by a car spinning, which probably cost us three-tenths, which would have been good enough for pole. Feature qualifying 1 went well, finishing second fastest, then in the final qualifying we ideally could have gone a bit later, but at the same time there were a few minor mistakes on my part. However, the car is very good and we'll definitely be challenging for podium places in both races tomorrow."
Katie Clements, Team Principal: "Strategically Durban is quite a challenging qualifying because there is the high possibility of flags. We were caught out in first qualifying because of that, but so were most of the other teams, so it was a situation that a lot of people had to deal with. We came back well though and we're very pleased with the fourth place starts. Of course, we would have preferred to be on the front row, but we have proved we can be very strong here this weekend, and we are aiming for podium finishes tomorrow."
Sunday's 20-minute Sprint race begins at 1100 local time (Sunday 0900 GMT) and the 70-minute Feature race starts at 1500 local time (1300 GMT).
Sky Sports will broadcast all the live action from Durban from 12noon on Sunday 24 February on Sky Sports 2.