Taupo: Team Germany Saturday notes

A1 Team Germany starts from the first row again On his return to A1 Team Germany, Christian Vietoris achieved his personal best-ever qualifying positions for Willi Weber's A1 Team Germany in the fifth round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport....

A1 Team Germany starts from the first row again

On his return to A1 Team Germany, Christian Vietoris achieved his personal best-ever qualifying positions for Willi Weber's A1 Team Germany in the fifth round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. The 18 year-old driver from Gonnersdorf in Germany qualified for fourth position in the Sunday's sprint race and improved subsequently to second position for the feature race grid at the Taupo circuit in New Zealand.

With the 3.5 kilometre track being rather dirty all weekend owing to strong wind, most teams opted for late outings in the four segments of qualifying. In the first segment, Christian Vietoris finished second best (1m16.495s) with just France's Loic Duval pipping him by 0.155s. In the second segment, late charges by New Zealand's Jonny Reid and South Africa's Adrian Zaugg meant that both France and Germany were relegated by two positions. Despite improving his time to 1m15.724s, Christian Vietoris had to be content with fourth place on the grid for the sprint race.

In the third outing, A1 Team Germany clinched third position (1m15.869s), with both New Zealand and South Africa being faster again. The final attempt turned out to be a thriller as Germany trailed France by merely 0.035s whilst the other teams failed to top these times in the dying seconds of the session.

In finishing fourth and second, Christian Vietoris equalled the best average qualifying performance of A1 Team Germany (third position) this season obtained by Michael Ammermuller last time out in China (resulting from his first and fifth places respectively).

Christian Vietoris: "Today, I had an unusual task in qualifying. As the wind was blowing so much dust on the track, the whole field only started in the last two or three minutes of each session. So it was important to find a gap and still maintain the high temperatures in the tyres in the respective out laps. This didn't work as expected in the sessions for the sprint race. I went out on new tyres both times, but the temperature was not perfect as I had to leave a gap to get a free lap. So I changed my approach for the feature race qualifying. We went out slightly earlier and the tyre temperatures were much better. We've improved continuously since the free practice sessions and we nearly clinched pole position. Despite having achieved my personal best qualifying performance of the season, I'm a bit disappointed as it was absolutely close at the end, with France pipping us by just 0.035s. With a slightly more aggressive approach, we might have been able to clinch pole position. Anyway, we are in a strong position for the feature race, but as the weather forecast predicts some rain, it could be quite a lottery on Sunday."

-credit: germany/speedpool.com

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Series A1GP
Drivers Adrian Zaugg , Loic Duval , Christian Vietoris , Jonny Reid , Michael Ammermüller