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Champ Car's Jani takes double pole at Sepang

a1gp
Saturday, November 24, 2007

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Champ Car's Neel Jani buried the competition in final qualifying
A1 Grand Prix

Malaysia - Switzerland's Neel Jani put in a sensational performance during qualifying for the A1GP Sepang, Malaysia this afternoon to take pole position for tomorrow's Sprint and Feature race. The Champ Car Swiss star will start the Sprint race from P1 tomorrow morning for the third consecutive season at Sepang and he will lead the drivers off the grid for A1GP's 50th ever race tomorrow afternoon.

Sprint race qualifying
Neel Jani continued his magnificent form around the Sepang circuit, setting the quickest lap during the first qualifying segment and going on to better it in the second to snatch pole position for the Sprint race from A1 Team France, demoting Loic Duval to second on the grid.

Great Britain's Oliver Jarvis and German rookie Michael Ammermüller will line up alongside each other on the second row of the Sprint race grid, followed by Canada's Robert Wickens and championship leader New Zealand's Jonny Reid in fifth and sixth place respectively.

Feature race qualifying
Having secured pole position for the Sprint race, Jani stamped his authority on the weekend by going on to also take pole for the Feature race, recording an outstanding lap of 1m47.648s in the closing minutes of the session, almost a second quicker than GBR's Oliver Jarvis who will line up alongside him on the front row.


Center, Neel Jani (SUI), Loic Duval (FRA), and Oliver Jarvis (GBR)
A1 Grand Prix

Germany's Michael Ammermüller and Frenchman Loic Duval qualified in third and fourth position respectively while the Netherlands' Jeroen Bleekemolen will start the Feature race from fifth on the grid. Brazilian rookie Sergio Jimenez will line up alongside the Dutchman in sixth place on the third row.

After a challenging session, home nation Malaysia's Alex Yoong will start the Sprint race from 19th position and the Feature race from 15th.

Neel Jani was delighted with his final flying lap in the Swiss car and is aiming to convert his team's double pole into a double victory tomorrow:

'I thought that my 48.4 which I did on old tires might already be enough for pole position. So on my last round I just went out and thought just go easy, don't push too much or break too late, and suddenly there was a 47.7 so maybe that was the solution! James, my engineer, and the team adjusted the car for each segment - we made some little adjustments on the tires with ride heights and each time I went out the car was better and everything was just perfect. I hope we do tomorrow what we didn't do the last two years - get both race wins.'


Rahel Frey (SUI) and Neel Jani (SUI), drivers of A1 Team Switzerland
A1 Grand Prix

The 23-year-old driver was also keen to recognize the contribution of Swiss rookie Rahel Frey, who took part in the first practice session at Sepang on Friday morning:

'My set up was not so far from what she (Rahel) figured out more or less so I have to thank her for that. It's a team effort with the rookie session and you have to go step by step.'

French driver Loic Duval knows the Sepang circuit well but struggled with the balance of the car during today's qualifying session:

'I've raced here before in a different category so it wasn't so difficult for me to learn the track. The braking points are a bit different in an A1GP car obviously but anyway it was enough to be at the front this weekend. We had quite a bit of understeer during the first three qualifying segments, so we tried something different in the last one to try to take pole, but then I suffered from big oversteer so it wasn't good actually. We're not quick enough to beat Neel this weekend in qualifying anyway.'

Great Britain's Oliver Jarvis, who will start the Sprint race from third on the grid and the Feature race from second, commented:

'We put on a new set of tires for Qualifying 1 and the difference was amazing. Unfortunately it just caught me out as the car had a lot of oversteer. I turned into the double right hander and the car turned in immediately and I clipped the curb and nearly went off. So we didn't really set a competitive time in Q1 which meant we had to take Qualifying 2 quite cautiously. I think it would have been possible to get pole for the Sprint but we didn't have the pace for a 1.47, so congratulations to Neel and the team, they did a fantastic job to take pole in both.'

Tomorrow's Sprint race at Sepang, Malaysia will start at 11.00 local time and the 70-minute Feature race will start at 15:00.

Sprint race qualifying results - A1GP Sepang, Malaysia (round 3 of 10)

POS A1 TEAM DRIVER TIME S1 TIME S2 TIME GAP FIRST
1 SWITZERLAND Neel JANI 01:49.003 01:48.630 01:48.630 -
2 FRANCE Loic DUVAL 01:49.072 01:48.845 01:48.845 ×0.215
3 GREAT BRITAIN Oliver JARVIS 01:50.677 01:48.864 01:48.864 ×0.234
4 GERMANY Michael AMMERMÜLLER 01:49.976 01:49.219 01:49.219 ×0.589
5 CANADA Robert WICKENS 01:50.560 01:49.252 01:49.252 ×0.622
6 NEW ZEALAND Jonny REID 01:50.677 01:49.330 01:49.330 ×0.700
7 BRAZIL Sergio JIMENEZ 01:50.326 01:49.376 01:49.376 ×0.746
8 SOUTH AFRICA Adrian ZAUGG 01:50.362 01:49.525 01:49.525 ×0.895
9 CHINA Congfu CHENG 01:50.601 01:49.535 01:49.535 ×0.905
10 NETHERLANDS Jeroen BLEEKEMOLEN 01:49.874 01:49.677 01:49.677 ×1.047
11 USA Jonathan SUMMERTON 01:52.872 01:49.758 01:49.758 ×1.128
12 AUSTRALIA Ian DYK 01:51.732 01:49.898 01:49.898 ×1.268
13 IRELAND Adam CARROLL 02:06.063 01:49.915 01:49.915 ×1.285
14 INDIA Narain KARTHIKEYAN 01:50.700 01:50.226 01:50.226 ×1.596
15 PORTUGAL Joao URBANO 01:51.452 01:50.329 01:50.329 ×1.699
16 MEXICO Michel JOURDAIN 01:52.834 01:50.364 01:50.364 ×1.734
17 CZECH REPUBLIC Erik JANIS 01:52.597 01:50.401 01:50.401 ×1.771
18 ITALY Enrico TOCCACELO 01:51.239 01:50.546 01:50.546 ×1.916
19 MALAYSIA Alex YOONG 01:52.415 01:50.653 01:50.653 ×2.023
20 LEBANON Chris ALAJAJIAN 01:50.871 01:50.775 01:50.775 ×2.145
21 INDONESIA Satrio HERMANTO 01:52.614 01:51.618 01:51.618 ×2.988
22 PAKISTAN Adam KHAN 02:28.584 01:51.819 01:51.819 ×3.189


Feature race qualifying results - A1GP Sepang, Malaysia (round 3 of 10)

POS A1 TEAM A1 DRIVER TIME S1 TIME S2 TIME GAP FIRST
1 SWITZERLAND Neel JANI 01:48.425 01:47.648 01:47.648 -
2 GREAT BRITAIN Oliver JARVIS 01:49.324 01:48.608 01:48.608 ×0.960
3 GERMANY Michael AMMERMÜLLER 01:49.293 01:48.736 01:48.736 ×1.088
4 FRANCE Loic DUVAL 01:48.807 01:48.905 01:48.807 ×1.159
5 NETHERLANDS Jeroen BLEEKEMOLEN 01:49.694 01:49.021 01:49.021 ×1.373
6 BRAZIL Sergio JIMENEZ 01:50.000 01:49.110 01:49.110 ×1.462
7 IRELAND Adam CARROLL 01:49.248 01:50.081 01:49.248 ×1.600
8 CHINA Congfu CHENG 01:49.644 01:49.308 01:49.308 ×1.660
9 SOUTH AFRICA Adrian ZAUGG 01:49.637 01:49.324 01:49.324 ×1.676
10 NEW ZEALAND Jonny REID 01:49.600 01:49.353 01:49.353 ×1.705
11 INDIA Narain KARTHIKEYAN 01:49.797 01:49.543 01:49.543 ×1.895
12 CANADA Robert WICKENS 01:49.642 01:49.726 01:49.642 ×1.994
13 USA Jonathan SUMMERTON 01:49.818 01:49.937 01:49.818 ×2.170
14 AUSTRALIA Ian DYK 01:50.912 01:49.868 01:49.868 ×2.220
15 MALAYSIA Alex YOONG 01:50.102 01:49.997 01:49.997 ×2.349
16 CZECH REPUBLIC Erik JANIS 01:50.020 01:50.617 01:50.020 ×2.372
17 PORTUGAL Joao URBANO 01:50.163 01:50.109 01:50.109 ×2.461
18 ITALY Enrico TOCCACELO 01:50.408 01:50.193 01:50.193 ×2.545
19 INDONESIA Satrio HERMANTO 01:51.335 01:50.651 01:50.651 ×3.003
20 MEXICO Michel JOURDAIN 01:50.869 01:51.067 01:50.869 ×3.221
21 PAKISTAN Adam KHAN 01:51.670 01:50.871 01:50.871 ×3.223
22 LEBANON Chris ALAJAJIAN 01:50.178* 01:51.161 01:51.161 ×3.513


* A1 Team Lebanon will start tomorrow's Feature race from the back of the grid after having its lap time from the third qualifying session disqualified when the car was found to be under the minimum weight at the end of that segment.

Starting Lineup (Aggregate time from two fastest laps of 4 qualifying sessions)

A1 Team Driver Aggregate time Gap first
1 Great Britain Robbie Kerr 3.10.138 -
2 New Zealand Jonny Reid 3.10.539 ×0.401
3 USA Jonathan Summerton 3.10.800 ×0.662
4 Germany Nico Hülkenberg 3.11.053 ×0.915
5 India Narain Karthikeyan 3.11.183 ×1.045
6 Switzerland Sebastien Buemi 3.11.301 ×1.163
7 France Jean Karl Vernay 3.11.525 ×1.387
8 Malaysia Alex Yoong 3.11.548 ×1.410
9 Canada Sean McIntosh 3.11.855 ×1.717
10 Italy Enrico Toccacelo 3.12.023 ×1.885
11 South Africa Alan van der Merwe 3.12.218 ×2.080
12 China Congfu Cheng 3.12.294 ×2.156
13 Indonesia Ananda Mikola 3.12.359 ×2.221
14 Netherlands Renger van der Zande 3.12.426 ×2.288
15 Brazil Vitor Meira 3.12.545 ×2.407
16 Mexico Sergio Perez 3.13.621 ×3.483
17 Ireland Richard Lyons 3.13.756 ×3.618
18 Portugal Joao Urbano 3.13.782 ×3.644
19 Lebanon Allam Khodair 3.13.818 ×3.680
20 Czech Republic Filip Salaquadra 3.14,797 ×4.659
21 Australia Ian Dyk 3.15.341 ×5.203
22 Pakistan Nur Ali 3.18.801 ×8.663

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