Mexico City: Series Saturday practice report

Mexico -- A1 Team Italy set the pace in this morning's third and final official practice session, which was strewn with red flag incidents, at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in the heart of Mexico City, setting the scene for an incredibly close...

Mexico -- A1 Team Italy set the pace in this morning's third and final official practice session, which was strewn with red flag incidents, at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in the heart of Mexico City, setting the scene for an incredibly close qualifying session this afternoon.

Italy's Edoardo Piscopo, who had the benefit of new tyres, shot to the top of the time sheets in the closing minutes of the incident-packed final practice this morning, demoting France's Jonathan Cochet to second. 31-year-old Cochet had held the top spot for much of the session, which overran by 40 minutes due to four red-flag periods involving Lebanon, Portugal and Mexico, plus debris on the track.

Second-placed France was closely followed by current title leader Switzerland's Neel Jani in third while Ireland's Adam Carroll continued his strong form by setting the fourth fastest time overall.

China's Congfu Cheng ended the session in an impressive fifth position, followed by New Zealand's Jonny Reid and USA's Jonathan Summerton in sixth and seventh places respectively. Great Britain's Oliver Jarvis, who was the man to beat around the 4.08km circuit on Friday, finished the session eighth. South Africa's Adrian Zaugg and India's Narain Karthikeyan rounded out the top ten.

It was another incredibly close session at the challenging Mexican circuit, with just over a second covering the top 18 teams. Seven teams had their lap times deleted for cutting the chicane leading into the final Peraltada corner.

All 22 nations competing in the World Cup of Motorsport are now preparing their cars for Sprint and Feature race qualifying, which begins at 14.15 this afternoon. Qualifying consists of four 15-minute sessions with a five-minute break between each one. The fastest lap time set by each team's nominated driver in the first two qualifying segments will determine the grid for the rolling start Sprint race, while the fastest times set in the final two segments will determine how the 22 cars will line up on the grid for the standing start Feature race. Each driver is limited to one 'flying lap' per 15-minute session.

<pre> Nominated drivers for Qualifying -- A1GP Mexico City, Mexico (round 8 of 10)

A1 TEAM         DRIVER
Australia       John Martin
Brazil          Bruno Junqueira
Canada          Robert Wickens
China           CongFu Cheng
Czech Republic  Filip Salaquarda
France          Jonathan Cochet
Germany         Michael Ammermuller
Great Britain   Oliver Jarvis
India           Narain Karthikeyan
Indonesia       Satrio Hermanto
Ireland         Adam Carroll
Italy           Edoardo Piscopo
Lebanon         Jimmy Auby
Malaysia        Alex Yoong
Mexico          David Garza
Netherlands     Jeroen Bleekemolen
New Zealand     Jonny Reid
Pakistan        Adam Khan
Portugal        Filipe Albuquerque
South Africa    Adrian Zaugg
Switzerland     Neel Jani
USA             Jonathan Summerton

</pre> -credit: a1gp

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Series A1GP
Drivers Jonathan Cochet , Bruno Junqueira , Narain Karthikeyan , Alex Yoong , Adam Langley-Khan , Adam Carroll , Jeroen Bleekemolen , Neel Jani , Oliver Jarvis , Robert Wickens , Adrian Zaugg , David Garza , Filipe Albuquerque , Jonny Reid , Jonathan Summerton , Congfu Cheng , Filip Salaquarda , John Martin , Jimmy Auby , Satrio Hermanto , Michael Ammermüller