Zandvoort: Series Saturday report

Race: AquaSP A1GP Zandvoort, The Netherlands (round 1 of 11) South Africa Takes Double Pole The Netherlands - A1 Team South Africa dominated qualifying at Circuit Park Zandvoort this afternoon to take pole position for tomorrow's Sprint and ...

Race: AquaSP A1GP Zandvoort, The Netherlands (round 1 of 11)

South Africa Takes Double Pole

The Netherlands - A1 Team South Africa dominated qualifying at Circuit Park Zandvoort this afternoon to take pole position for tomorrow's Sprint and Feature races at the AquaSP A1GP Zandvoort, The Netherlands.

The weather conditions remained wet and windy at Zandvoort as the thrilling new qualifying format got underway this afternoon. South Africa's Adrian Zaugg set the fastest lap time overall during the first two 15-minute sessions which put him on pole for the Sprint race for the second consecutive year. Zaugg snatched the top spot from A1 Team France in the closing stages of Q2 and Loic Duval was unable to fight back as he spun off during his final flying lap.

The Frenchman will start the Sprint race from second position on the grid, followed by A1 Team Mexico and Switzerland in third and fourth place respectively on row two.

Duval, who will start the Feature race from fifth place, said: 'I pushed a bit too hard at turn five and the track was getting drier and the car was set up for the wet so I don't know if I could have been faster than him (Zaugg) in Q2 anyway, but it's not a bad result to be on the first row for the first race and I will try to win it. Our car was really good in the rain but not so good in the dry conditions. We're starting the Feature race from fifth and we have two compulsory pit stops this year so anything can happen.'

South Africa's excellent form continued as Zaugg held provisional pole for the Feature race for much of the third and fourth sessions. A1 Team Great Britian's Oliver Jarvis momentarily knocked Zaugg off the top spot in the final session but the South African snatched it back with just three minutes of Q4 remaining. GBR's Jarvis will line up on the second row of the grid for the Feature race, starting from third position alongside A1 Team Switzerland's Neel Jani.

Double pole-sitter Zaugg was delighted with his team's performance today: 'I'm really pleased with double pole and I want to say thanks to the team for setting the car up so well for qualifying today. I'm not sure what the weather conditions will be like tomorrow so we'll just have to see what we're able to do.'

An impressive late charge from reigning champion A1 Team Germany in the final session meant Christian Vietoris leapt to a front row spot. The German rookie, who will start the Feature race from second on the grid, said: 'We actually had a few problems under braking in Q1 and 2 which we worked on and improved for Q3 and then I set my best lap in Q4. We didn't plan it this way but it all came together quite well for us in the end.'

Home nation A1 Team Netherlands' driver Jeroen Bleekemolen will start the Sprint race from fifth position and the Feature race from 11th. The Dutchman will be fighting for a podium position in front of his home fans: 'This morning we started off really well because I know the track in the wet, but then we had to work on the car and struggled a bit. We should have waited longer to go out in Q4 but we heard it was going to rain again so they sent me out. It's a shame because I think we could've been top five for the Feature race too. I'm looking forward to both races tomorrow and the weather's hard to predict here so it should be quite exciting.'

-credit: a1gp.com

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Series A1GP
Drivers Jeroen Bleekemolen , Neel Jani , Oliver Jarvis , Adrian Zaugg , Loic Duval , Christian Vietoris