Taupo: Team France Saturday report

France front row for the sprint race Following a trouble-free final practice session on Saturday morning where A1 Team France finished fifth fastest with a time of 1.14.658. For its first ever A1GP qualifying, driver Loic Duval qualified in 2nd...

France front row for the sprint race

Following a trouble-free final practice session on Saturday morning where A1 Team France finished fifth fastest with a time of 1.14.658. For its first ever A1GP qualifying, driver Loic Duval qualified in 2nd place and will leave from front row for Sunday's sprint race.

Duval looked in strong shape under the grey sky in the morning practice session. He explains his day and the qualifying session: "The weather was not as hot as yesterday when we first took the car to the track. Considering I had a problem with a tire going flat, I managed scoring a good time. We did not want to take any risk in the morning and did not run in the last 15 minutes of the session. We kept the effort for the afternoon's pole. It is important to leave in front on such a narrow and technical track as passing cars is difficult. "For my first qualifying as a driver, I bring the team their best qualifying performance this season. Two races in a row is a demanding exercise but there is no need to take risks in the first short sprint race. I am also very fit physically as I am used to long races in the Nippon Formula.

"In the first qualifying outing I cracked the times scoring the first time below 1.15 in 1.14.770 ahead of Canada James HinchCliffe (1.14.996) and Netherland Jeroen Bleekemolen(1.15.057)" continues Duval. "I also wrapped up the second part of qualifying and maintained the fastest time again with 1.14.725 ahead of new Zealand, 1.14.747. This was a solid start. I only made it to second fastest in the third outing with 1.14.184 and a total of 2.28.909 for my two best times. I tried to push and take the maximum performance out in the fourth session, but I went a bit on the grass and I ended 2.28.553 behind Germany Nico Hulkenberg and ahead of New Zealand, Jonny Reid. With a strong strategy I hope to secure good results for the team and the Championship."

Jean-Paul Driot, Team Principal, A1 France added: "Loic Duval experienced his first ever qualifying session. There was a bit of pressure in his fourth outing as he was fighting for the pole with Germany Nico Hulkenberg who has a lot of experience. Front row for the start of the sprint race is excellent. Loic Duval results with the team have been consistent all week-end. He did a good job all week-end."

The team is now working to prepare a good race strategy and fine-tune the car's balance for tomorrow's races.

Eric Boullier, Managing Director, A1 France added: "Front row for the start of the sprint race is not bad to prepare the qualifying results because it looks like we were able to be consistent all week-end.With a good start tomorrow and a strong strategy I hope to secure good results for the Championship."

-credit: team france

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Jeroen Bleekemolen , Loic Duval , Jonny Reid , Nico Hulkenberg