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New Zealand and France on Pole at Taupo

A1GP
Saturday, January 19, 2008

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New Zealand - Home nation A1 Team New Zealand qualified in pole position for tomorrow morning's Sprint race at Taupo while France took the Feature race pole. It was an unusual qualifying hour as the majority of teams waited as late as possible to take to the windy, dusty track during each of the four 15-minute qualifying segments.

Reid gives the No. 1 sign after winning the pole for the sprint race

Sprint race qualifying
The crowds roared as New Zealand's Jonny Reid set the fastest lap in the closing minutes of the second 15-minute qualifying segment to snatch pole position for tomorrow morning's Sprint race.

South Africa's Adrian Zaugg will line up alongside the home nation hero on the front row, after an incredible last lap charge during Q2 moved him up to second place. France's Loic Duval, who has been the man to beat all weekend, will start the race from third position on the second row while Germany's Christian Vietoris qualified fourth.

The Netherlands' Jeroen Bleekemolen and USA's Jonathan Summerton will line up on the third row of the grid in fifth and sixth place respectively.

Loic Duval answers questions after winning the pole for the feature race

Feature race qualifying
The teams continued to play a waiting game due to the dusty conditions, finally taking to the track with just over two minutes of the final qualifying segment remaining. France's Loic Duval put in a sensational performance to secure pole for the Feature race ahead of Germany's Christian Vietoris who will line up alongside him on the front row.

Current championship leader Switzerland's Neel Jani qualified in third position, closely followed by Canada's Robert Wickens who will start from fourth on the grid. Home nation New Zealand's Jonny Reid took the fifth spot while Portugal's Joao Urbano recorded an incredible lap around the 3.5km circuit to secure sixth position ahead of South Africa.

New Zealand's Jonny Reid is delighted to be starting tomorrow's Sprint race from pole position and is aiming for a win in front of his home crowd:

'It was a fantastic feeling to see everyone on their feet in the grandstands as I came across the line. I had no radio communication during the session but I could see the crowd were pretty excited and I was hoping it was at least the front row. It was a very clean lap in Q2 and not many mistakes which is pleasing. We slipped up a bit for the Feature race qualifying but we'll be there when it comes to the racing tomorrow. I have the home support and I really want this one.'

Season one champion France's Loic Duval has been on superb form all weekend and has high hopes for tomorrow's Feature race, which he is starting from pole:

'The first part of qualifying was ok because I was first in the first segment, but the set up of the car wasn't really as good as this morning. It was quite difficult to find a good set up which is why I just took pole for the Feature race. The average of today is not too bad though - first and third - and at the end of the weekend the most important thing is the number of points we can score.'

Germany's Christian Vietoris, who will start the Sprint race from fourth and the Feature race from second on the grid, commented on the dirty, dusty track conditions:

'It is a big problem because you don't know what to expect at the next corner. Today it was ok but yesterday it was a lot worse and nearly everybody went off the track at some point.'

Tomorrow's Sprint race at Taupo, New Zealand will start at 11.00 local time and the 70-minute Feature race will start at 15.00.

Sprint race qualifying results - A1GP Taupo, New Zealand (round 5 of 10)

POS A1 TEAM DRIVER TIME S1 TIME S2 BEST TIME GAP FIRST
1 NEW ZEALAND Jonny REID 01:16.533 01:15.241 01:15.241
2 SOUTH AFRICA Adrian ZAUGG 01:17.423 01:15.522 01:15.522 0.281
3 FRANCE Loic DUVAL 01:16.340 01:15.628 01:15.628 0.387
4 GERMANY Christian VIETORIS 01:16.495 01:15.724 01:15.724 0.483
5 NETHERLANDS Jeroen BLEEKEMOLEN 01:17.700 01:16.036 01:16.036 0.795
6 USA Jonathan SUMMERTON 01:19.515 01:16.101 01:16.101 0.86
7 IRELAND Adam CARROLL 01:16.846 01:16.182 01:16.182 0.941
8 CANADA Robert WICKENS 01:17.612 01:16.201 01:16.201 0.96
9 MALAYSIA Alex YOONG 01:19.409 01:16.386 01:16.386 1.145
10 BRAZIL Sergio JIMENEZ 01:17.516 01:16.408 01:16.408 1.167
11 SWITZERLAND Neel JANI 01:16.978 01:16.423 01:16.423 1.182
12 ITALY Edoardo PISCOPO 01:17.654 01:16.472 01:16.472 1.231
13 GREAT BRITAIN Robbie KERR 01:17.876 01:16.731 01:16.731 1.49
14 PORTUGAL Joao URBANO 01:23.471 01:17.147 01:17.147 1.906
15 AUSTRALIA John MARTIN 01:18.875 01:17.309 01:17.309 2.068
16 CHINA Congfu CHENG 01:17.340 01:17.340 2.099
17 LEBANON Chris ALAJAJIAN 01:17.682 01:17.682 2.441
18 MEXICO David GARZA 01:17.809 01:17.809 2.568
19 CZECH REPUBLIC Tomas ENGE 01:19.736 01:17.811 01:17.811 2.57
20 INDIA Narain KARTHIKEYAN 01:50.053 01:17.961 01:17.961 2.72
21 INDONESIA Satrio HERMANTO 01:20.597 01:18.421 01:18.421 3.18
22 PAKISTAN Adam KHAN 01:19.325 01:18.635 01:18.635 3.394

Feature race qualifying results - A1GP Taupo, New Zealand (round 5 of 10)

POS A1 TEAM DRIVER TIME S1 TIME S2 BEST TIME GAP FIRST
1 FRANCE Loic DUVAL 01:15.974 01:15.296 01:15.296
2 GERMANY Christian VIETORIS 01:15.869 01:15.331 01:15.331 ×0.035
3 SWITZERLAND Neel JANI 01:16.351 01:15.476 01:15.476 ×0.180
4 CANADA Robert WICKENS 01:15.922 01:15.588 01:15.588 ×0.292
5 NEW ZEALAND Jonny REID 01:15.618 01:15.649 01:15.618 ×0.322
6 PORTUGAL Joao URBANO 01:16.627 01:15.620 01:15.620 ×0.324
7 SOUTH AFRICA Adrian ZAUGG 01:15.651 01:15.651 ×0.355
8 NETHERLANDS Jeroen BLEEKEMOLEN 01:15.988 01:15.795 01:15.795 ×0.499
9 GREAT BRITAIN Robbie KERR 01:16.485 01:15.895 01:15.895 ×0.599
10 USA Jonathan SUMMERTON 01:16.185 01:15.898 01:15.898 ×0.602
11 BRAZIL Sergio JIMENEZ 01:16.647 01:16.024 01:16.024 ×0.728
12 AUSTRALIA John MARTIN 01:16.658 01:16.106 01:16.106 ×0.810
13 IRELAND Adam CARROLL 01:16.271 01:16.115 01:16.115 ×0.819
14 MALAYSIA Alex YOONG 01:16.198 01:16.303 01:16.198 ×0.902
15 MEXICO David GARZA 01:17.977 01:16.313 01:16.313 ×1.017
16 ITALY Edoardo PISCOPO 01:16.592 01:16.524 01:16.524 ×1.228
17 LEBANON Chris ALAJAJIAN 01:17.871 01:16.556 01:16.556 ×1.260
18 CHINA Congfu CHENG 01:17.625 01:16.761 01:16.761 ×1.465
19 INDIA Narain KARTHIKEYAN 01:17.248 01:16.791 01:16.791 ×1.495
20 CZECH REPUBLIC Tomas ENGE 01:18.217 01:17.526 01:17.526 ×2.230
21 PAKISTAN Adam KHAN 01:18.338 01:17.556 01:17.556 ×2.260
22 INDONESIA Satrio HERMANTO 01:18.106 01:18.395 01:18.106 ×2.810

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