McIntosh ninth fastest for Canada in Malaysian A1GP Qualifying Saturday 25 November, 2006 -- Sean McIntosh ensured A1 Team Canada kept its top-ten qualifying record intact Saturday as he posted the ninth fastest aggregate lap time at the Sepang...
McIntosh ninth fastest for Canada in Malaysian A1GP Qualifying
Saturday 25 November, 2006 -- Sean McIntosh ensured A1 Team Canada kept its top-ten qualifying record intact Saturday as he posted the ninth fastest aggregate lap time at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia ahead of Round 4 of the 12-round 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, starting with Sunday morning's 20-minute Sprint race.
McIntosh (21), competing for A1 Team Canada for the first time this season, was keen to keep the team's streak of top-ten starts going following James Hinchcliffe's excellent qualifying performances in the Canadian car over the opening rounds in Holland, the Czech Republic and China. The 21-year-old from Vancouver failed to disappoint as he reacquainted himself with the 550bhp, V8-powered A1GP car that he drove to victory in Indonesia in the inaugural A1GP Championship last season.
Straight out on a brand new set of tires for the first of four timed runs, the fastest two being used to set the aggregate qualifying time and the grid order for Sunday's Sprint race, McIntosh lapped the 5.54km Sepang International Circuit in 1m53.142s. His next lap would be faster as he made the most of another set of new tires to post a time of 1m52.210s, the sixth fastest lap of the second session.
Sean's third run, and final outing on fresh rubber, was less fruitful as he admitted he might have pushed a little too hard for the lap, setting a 1m53.424s, ninth fastest from the 22-strong field of nations. The Canadian's last run of the session, this time on old tires, was a competitive 1m53.398s and a faster lap than his previous one. With his first two laps being the fastest of the four, and therefore forming his aggregate lap time of 3m45.352s, McIntosh ended Saturday's qualifying session ninth overall to secure a top-ten grid slot for Sunday's Sprint race. Pole went to Switzerland's Neel Jani with New Zealand's Jonny Reid lining up alongside on the front-row for the rolling start.
Encouraged to be starting 13 spots higher up the grid from last season's rain-soaked A1GP qualifying session in Malaysia, McIntosh's competitive edge meant he was still left wanting more. "The car certainly had pace today,' he commented. "I didn't get the best from my first set of tires but the second run was more promising. The track had warmed up by the third outing and I probably pushed a little too hard. I didn't come here to qualify ninth, I wanted to be higher than that on my return with the team but compared to last season's start position at Sepang it's a definite improvement!"