Taupo: Team Germany Saturday report

A1 Team Germany claim first ever pole position The Willi Weber managed A1 Team Germany finally broke its jinx down-under: To add to its championship lead, the team also proved its form in qualifying and starts the sixth round of the A1 Grand...

A1 Team Germany claim first ever pole position

The Willi Weber managed A1 Team Germany finally broke its jinx down-under: To add to its championship lead, the team also proved its form in qualifying and starts the sixth round of the A1 Grand Prix Series in New Zealand for the first time from pole position. Nominated driver Nico Hulkenberg recorded the fastest qualifying time of 2m28.218s, and, as a result, starts from the front row for the second time this season, after having taken second position in Brno in October 2006.

Hulkenberg set the sixth fastest time of 1m15.507s in the first of four qualifying segments in Taupo. The powerful 520 hp A1 Grand Prix cars struggled for grip at the beginning around the dusty 3.5 kilometre circuit. The "star of tomorrow" bettered his time to 1m14.726s in the second run, which gave him third fastest time overall. He made this improvement of almost eight tenths of second on the same set of tyres he used for the first attempt -- clear indication that the circuit conditions had changed since the opening minutes of qualifying. The 19-year old Rheinlander upped his pace once again in the third quarter on his second set of slicks: The time of 1m14.146s was not only his personal best, but also the absolute fastest lap in the entire field. In Hulkenberg's fourth and final attempt he improved yet again: His time of 1m14.072s presented the team with the fastest time of the weekend.

Nicolas Hulkenberg:

"Finally my first pole position -- a fantastic feeling! There was a touring car practice session just before our qualifying, and they kicked a lot of sand onto the track. The sun also disappeared behind the clouds, so it was difficult for me to get the tyres up to temperature. After making the first couple of runs on one set of tyres we changed the tyre pressure in the second and third sets and I drove more aggressively on the warm-up lap. There's absolutely no grip off-line -- we'll have to be very precise. It'll be an exciting race."

-credit: team germany

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Series A1GP
Drivers Nico Hulkenberg