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GBR and India on Pole at Brands Hatch

A1GP
Saturday, May 03, 2008

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Narain Karthikeyan locks a wheel on the way to the feature race pole
A1GP
Brands Hatch, Great Britain - GBR's Robbie Kerr put in a sensational performance to qualify in pole position for tomorrow morning's Sprint race at the A1GP Brands Hatch, Great Britain, much to the delight of his home fans. The British racer will also start the Feature race from the front row of the grid, lining up in second place alongside Narain Karthikeyan, who has secured India's first pole position.

Sprint race qualifying
Twenty-eight-year-old Robbie Kerr set the fastest lap in the closing moments of the second 15-minute qualifying segment to snatch pole position for tomorrow morning's Sprint race from Switzerland's Neel Jani, who set the fastest lap during Q1.

USA's Jonathan Summerton, who was third fastest on Friday but struggled a little bit this morning, put in a superb lap in Q2 to qualify second and demote current title leader Switzerland to third. Ireland's Adam Carroll will line up alongside Jani on the second row in fourth position while India's Narain Karthikeyan and Portugal's Filipe Albuquerque will start from fifth and sixth place respectively.

South Africa's Adrian Zaugg and France's Franck Montagny will line up behind them in seventh and eighth place, followed by Germany's Michael Ammermüller in ninth. Title contender New Zealand's Jonny Reid endured a difficult session, qualifying Black Beauty in 10th position on the fifth row.

Feature race qualifying
Having secured the Sprint race pole, GBR's Robbie Kerr took provisional pole for the Feature race during Q3, only to be demoted to second when India's Narain Karthikeyan snatched the top spot in the closing moments of the final qualifying segment, taking his nation's first A1GP pole position.

Switzerland's Neel Jani, who only needs to finish seventh in one of the races tomorrow to win the championship, and Ireland's Adam Carroll will line up on row two in third and fourth position followed by Germany's Michael Ammermüller and France's Franck Montagny in fifth and sixth place respectively.

South Africa's Adrian Zaugg and China's Congfu Cheng qualified seventh and eighth while USA's Jonathan Summerton and the Netherlands' Jeroen Bleekemolen complete the top 10 grid positions.

New Zealand's Jonny Reid, who needs to win at least one race tomorrow to be in with a chance of overhauling Switzerland and taking the prestigious title honors, could only manage 17th on the grid.

GBR's Robbie Kerr, who won the Brands Hatch Sprint race last year and is aiming for a double victory tomorrow, said:

'We've been pushing really hard all weekend. We've got to be happy with the result but it's just a shame we're not one place higher on the Feature race grid. We got a bit caught out by waiting right till the last moment before we went out. We wait so late purely so that other cars have driven round the circuit before us - they clean it up and put some rubber down which gives us the opportunity to get that extra bit of grip and a faster lap time. Everyone does the same though so it's a hard call to get it right every time and unfortunately we didn't get it quite right for the Feature race grid. We're happy with our performance so far this weekend and we've just got to carry it on till tomorrow.'

Narain Karthikeyan, who will start the Feature race from pole in the Indian car for the first time, put his top grid position down to good team work and his previous experience at the challenging Kent circuit:

'I've always done well here at Brands Hatch and it's one of my favorite circuits. The car has been up there all weekend. We put the lap together and the team has done a great job and the set up is not too far off. I think there will be a lot of Indian fans here tomorrow so we'll see what we can do.'

Tomorrow's A1GP season finale Sprint race at Brands Hatch will start at 11.00 local time and the 70-minute Feature race will start at 14.30.

Sprint race qualifying results - A1GP Brands Hatch, Great Britain (round 10 of 10)

POS A1 TEAM DRIVER TIME S1 TIME S2 TIME GAP FIRST
1 GREAT BRITAIN Robbie KERR 01:14.902 01:14.424 01:14.424
2 USA Jonathan SUMMERTON 01:15.300 01:14.426 01:14.426 +0.002
3 SWITZERLAND Neel JANI 01:14.772 01:15.002 01:14.772 +0.348
4 IRELAND Adam CARROLL 01:15.336 01:14.935 01:14.935 +0.511
5 INDIA Narain KARTHIKEYAN 01:15.040 01:15.171 01:15.040 +0.616
6 PORTUGAL Filipe ALBUQUERQUE 01:15.123 01:15.077 01:15.077 +0.653
7 SOUTH AFRICA Adrian ZAUGG 01:15.476 01:15.142 01:15.142 +0.718
8 FRANCE Franck MONTAGNY 01:15.712 01:15.216 01:15.216 +0.792
9 GERMANY Michael AMMERMÜLLER 01:15.538 01:15.306 01:15.306 +0.882
10 NEW ZEALAND Jonny REID 01:15.841 01:15.312 01:15.312 +0.888
11 NETHERLANDS Jeroen BLEEKEMOLEN 01:15.338 01:15.407 01:15.338 +0.914
12 AUSTRALIA John MARTIN 01:15.898 01:15.344 01:15.344 +0.920
13 CZECH REPUBLIC Filip SALAQUARDA 01:15.383 01:15.357 01:15.357 +0.933
14 MALAYSIA Fairuz FAUZY 01:15.591 01:15.439 01:15.439 +1.015
15 CANADA James HINCHCLIFFE 01:16.657 01:15.470 01:15.470 +1.046
16 CHINA Congfu CHENG 01:16.622 01:15.954 01:15.954 +1.530
17 ITALY Edoardo PISCOPO 01:16.139 01:16.049 01:16.049 +1.625
18 PAKISTAN Adam KHAN 01:17.930 01:16.086 01:16.086 +1.662
19 BRAZIL Xandi NEGRAO 01:16.189 01:16.117 01:16.117 +1.693
20 LEBANON Khalil BESCHIR 01:17.442 01:17.394 01:17.394 +2.970
21 MEXICO David MARTINEZ 01:18.130 01:17.403 01:17.403 +2.979
22 INDONESIA Satrio HERMANTO 01:18.483 01:17.553 01:17.553 +3.129

Feature race qualifying results - A1GP Brands Hatch, Great Britain (round 10 of 10)
POS A1 TEAM DRIVER TIME S1 TIME S2 TIME GAP FIRST
1 INDIA Narain KARTHIKEYAN 01:15.165 01:14.682 01:14.682
2 GREAT BRITAIN Robbie KERR 01:15.092 01:14.909 01:14.909 +0.227
3 SWITZERLAND Neel JANI 01:15.562 01:14.957 01:14.957 +0.275
4 IRELAND Adam CARROLL 01:15.401 01:15.020 01:15.020 +0.338
5 GERMANY Michael AMMERMÜLLER 01:15.925 01:15.042 01:15.042 +0.360
6 FRANCE Franck MONTAGNY 01:15.663 01:15.266 01:15.266 +0.584
7 SOUTH AFRICA Adrian ZAUGG 01:15.284 01:15.786 01:15.284 +0.602
8 CHINA Congfu CHENG 01:16.449 01:15.313 01:15.313 +0.631
9 USA Jonathan SUMMERTON 01:15.398 01:15.398 +0.716
10 NETHERLANDS Jeroen BLEEKEMOLEN 01:15.704 01:15.620 01:15.620 +0.938
11 PORTUGAL Filipe ALBUQUERQUE 01:15.627 01:15.643 01:15.627 +0.945
12 MALAYSIA Fairuz FAUZY 01:17.671 01:15.664 01:15.664 +0.982
13 CANADA James HINCHCLIFFE 01:15.935 01:15.667 01:15.667 +0.985
14 BRAZIL Xandi NEGRAO 01:16.556 01:15.671 01:15.671 +0.989
15 CZECH REPUBLIC Filip SALAQUARDA 01:15.765 01:15.690 01:15.690 +1.008
16 ITALY Edoardo PISCOPO 01:16.132 01:15.827 01:15.827 +1.145
17 NEW ZEALAND Jonny REID 01:16.003 01:16.274 01:16.003 +1.321
18 PAKISTAN Adam KHAN 01:16.102 01:16.063 01:16.063 +1.381
19 AUSTRALIA John MARTIN 01:17.285 01:16.175 01:16.175 +1.493
20 INDONESIA Satrio HERMANTO 01:17.100 01:16.876 01:16.876 +2.194
21 LEBANON Khalil BESCHIR 01:17.175 01:16.942 01:16.942 +2.260
22 MEXICO David MARTINEZ 01:18.082 01:17.062 01:17.062 +2.380

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