Sentul: Team Ireland Saturday report

Lyons to start 18th for Ireland in Indonesian A1 Grand Prix Ireland to start from 9th row in A1GP of Indonesia Sentul, Indonesia, 9 December; Richard Lyons' debut in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport saw him suffer an accident which cost him a ...

Lyons to start 18th for Ireland in Indonesian A1 Grand Prix
Ireland to start from 9th row in A1GP of Indonesia

Sentul, Indonesia, 9 December; Richard Lyons' debut in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport saw him suffer an accident which cost him a valuable qualifying run and set the 18th fastest time. The A1 Team Ireland driver completed the first of four qualifying runs on used tyres and was on new tyres for his second run when he made an error under braking, the car sliding off the track and into the barrier.

Fortunately he was able to keep the engine running and return to the pits after the marshals pushed the car away from the wall, damage being confined to the front wing and nose cone. Earlier in the day Lyons was 15th in final practice, the session being used to test a range of set-up changes. A run on new tyres at the end of that session was ruined when the car was blocked by Team Lebanon.

Richard Lyons; Qualified 18th Aggregate time 2m35.610s

"Obviously I am disappointed with the way today has gone and I have a lot of work to do tomorrow to if we are to salvage a result from this weekend. We got the car to the point where it was improving, but the accident cost us dearly. I made a small mistake under heavy braking but the team did a great job getting the car repaired and back out on the track for the next run."

Andy Miller, Technical Director

"We did a lot of set-up work today but obviously the off in qualifying didn't help matters and cost us that set of tyres plus a loss of momentum for Richard. It makes things tougher for tomorrow, but we will stick to a plan and see how the race develops as it was quite eventful last year."

Mark Gallagher, Team Principal

"We certainly are not seeing a change in our fortunes, but the team has again worked hard and Richard was unfortunate to have that off. We just have to dig even deeper and keep pushing until we make the progress the team deserves."

Sentul - A1 Team New Zealand's Jonny Reid has snatched pole position for the Gudang Garam A1GP Sentul, Indonesia Sprint race with a last-gasp flying lap in the dying minutes of Qualifying. Reid's aggregate time was just 0.034secs quicker than Great Britain's Robbie Kerr, who also moved up in the last minute to secure second position from Germany's Nico Hulkenberg for Sunday's 15-lap race.

Reid performed strongly throughout the four segments, setting top five times in all sessions, but it was his last lap of the day that grabbed pole, the New Zealander's second of the year. "It's quite hard work in today's Qualifying due to the weather conditions, but I'm glad to be on the pole position, and looking forward to the race," commented Reid. He now looks to achieve a better result than Brno, the last race he started on pole, where he ran into the wall before the first corner after a clash with Hulkenberg. "It was an unfortunate situation, I think we both have misjudged the circuit corner but we have been moving on and will focusing on winning the race tomorrow."

Great Britain's Kerr put in a consistent performance over the four segments. The young Briton topped the times after the second session, however could only post the fifth quickest in the third until a massive push in the final minute moved him into second ahead of young rising star Nico Hulkenberg. Kerr was however hoping for more, "Even in today's sessions I'm disappointed for not being on pole, but I will try and give the best performance I can tomorrow and let's just see what happens."

After recording the fastest time in session one, 0.064secs quicker than Reid, Hulkenberg looked set to score yet another pole position, however he failed to match the pace in the remaining three 15 minute portions and dropped down to third overall. Hulkenberg confessed he had made minor set-up adjustments between sessions, and felt the car was better today, "Yesterday I actually have a problem, but today I feel much better and enjoyed the track. For me the weather doesn't really matter. I like both, the wet and the dry conditions. I'm ready for both conditions."

After setting the fastest time in the morning's earlier practice session, Mexican Salvador Duran steadily improved his lap times in Qualifying to start the race from fourth position. Duran's combined times were enough to win the position against a resurgent Phil Giebler of the USA, who posted the fastest time in the third session. Defending champions France will start the race in seventh behind Australia.

A1 Team Ireland's new racer, Richard Lyons, had an eventful first A1GP Qualifying when he ran wide into a tyre wall at Turn Three during the second session and caused a red flag period. After marshals pushed him free, he returned to the pits to repair the car's broken nosecone and continued in the remaining sessions to start tomorrow's 15-lap Sprint race from 18th on the grid. Home nation Indonesia will start from 17th.

The Sprint race is due to start tomorrow morning at 11.00 local time, with the result determining the grid for the afternoon's 50-lap Feature race.

-credit: team ireland

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