Shanghai: Team Canada Saturday report

McIntosh Ninth Fastest In Shanghai Qualifying Saturday 14 April, 2007 -- Sean McIntosh returned A1 Team Canada to the top-ten in qualifying for the first time since January's sixth round in New Zealand as he posted the ninth fastest time from 22...

McIntosh Ninth Fastest In Shanghai Qualifying

Saturday 14 April, 2007 -- Sean McIntosh returned A1 Team Canada to the top-ten in qualifying for the first time since January's sixth round in New Zealand as he posted the ninth fastest time from 22 nations at the Shanghai International Circuit in China prior to Sunday's tenth and penultimate round of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport.

McIntosh's qualifying performance equaled his two previous starts in A1GP this season in Round 4 and Round 5 in Malaysia and Indonesia respectively. The 21-year-old from Coquitlam, who finished sixth overall in the World Series by Renault last season, steadily built his way up to Saturday afternoon's qualifying effort, finishing Friday's practice session 14th fastest and mirroring that performance in final practice on Saturday morning.

Making his racing debut in China, having missed out on the corresponding round last season as Champ Car veteran Patrick Carpentier raced for Canada, Sean posted a lap time of 1m36.950s on his first of four qualifying runs at the Shanghai track -- the fastest two forming his aggregate time for Sunday morning's 20-minute Sprint race. Faster on used rubber on his next lap, this time recording a 1m36.601s, the Canadian was knocking on the door to the top-ten with half the session completed.

Gaining confidence in the car, Sean stepped it up on his third run armed with a fresh set of Cooper tires. His lap time of 1m36.057s was the ninth fastest of the third session but he was to go faster still in his fourth and final run. Lapping in 1m35.798s, Sean's fastest lap was good for eighth quickest in the last session and combined with his previous lap helped form an aggregate time of 3m11.855s, good for ninth on the Sprint grid and Canada's highest starting slot since Toronto's James Hinchcliffe bagged seventh in Round 6 at Taupo Motorsports Park in New Zealand back in January.

Great Britain's Robbie Kerr captured pole from New Zealand's Jonny Reid in the dying seconds of the afternoon's qualifying session while Round 3 Feature winner, Italy's Enrico Toccacelo lines up alongside McIntosh on the fifth row of the grid.

"It was a pretty good qualifying session for my first time back in the car since December and probably the best out of the three I've taken part in this season," reflected Sean. "We've been working steadily to get to where we're at now. I've never been happy with ninth before but it's good for the first weekend back in the car. We're improving and I'm sure we'll have a competitive car for the races."

-credit: team canada

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Series A1GP
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Robbie Kerr , Sean McIntosh , Jonny Reid