With Nicolas Lapierre behind the wheel, A1 Team France regained its position at the top of the timings table in the third official practice session of the A1 Grand Prix of Nations at Sentul, on the outskirts of Jakarta. But with the top 15 teams separated by less than one second and just over two seconds separating the entire field, competition will be fierce in this afternoon’s Qualifying as drivers battle for tomorrow’s pole.

Official Practice Session 3 (11.00 – 12.00)

  A1 Team Driver Time No. Laps
1 France Nicolas Lapierre 1.18.527 24
2 South Africa Stephen Simpson 1.18.633 19
3 Mexico Salvador Duran 1.18.698 16
4 Netherlands Jos Verstappen 1.18.699 21
5 Great Britain Robbie Kerr 1.18.808 24
6 New Zealand Matt Halliday 1.18.854 19
7 Indonesia Ananda Mikola 1.18.856 22
8 Switzerland Neel Jani 1.18.863 21
9 Canada Sean McIntosh 1.18.990 21
10 Portugal Alvaro Parente 1.19.045 19
11 Czech Republic Tomas Enge 1.19.063 21
12 Ireland Ralph Firman 1.19.165 19
13 Malaysia Alex Yoong 1.19.169 19
14 Japan Hayanari Shimoda 1.19.389 29
15 Germany Timo Scheider 1.19.393 21
16 Australia Marcus Marshall 1.19.573 26
17 Lebanon Basil Shaaban 1.19.603 27
18 Italy Max Busnelli 1.19.615 21
19 Austria Mathias Lauda 1.19.820 24
20 Brazil Christian Fittipaldi 1.19.945 21
21 USA Philip Geibler 1.20.010 20
22 China Tengyi Jiang 1.20.019 22
23 India Armaan Ebrahim 1.20.767 21


A1 Team Great Britain has taken its first-ever pole position for tomorrow’s Sprint race at the Sentul Circuit. Robbie Kerr joins the list of four other drivers over three teams who have secured the front place on the grid for the Sprint race, putting them in prime position to battle for the all important Feature race pole.

Robbie Kerr said: ‘I started on old tyres to learn a bit more about the circuit, and then we had two new sets of tyres for the rest of qualifying which was fantastic. We made a slight change for the third session which was fantastic and again for the forth session, even though it was damp. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, I have a great opportunity. It’s not easy though, it is a fast circuit and we will have to see what happens.’

Nicolas Lapierre made a rare mistake in his first qualifying session spinning off into the gravel. Despite this the five-times winner finished second overall. ‘It wasn’t my best lap ever, I made a mistake and went off into the gravel. I could have easily have hit the wall but some days are good and today I managed to miss it. So from then I needed to put in a few safe laps. We were going to go out on wet tyres in the final session, but we saw Robbie out on dry tyres, and there is good data to be learnt from experimenting with the tyres.’

Salvador Duran, who finished the day third fastest, is hoping to race for A1 Team Mexico in his home country in two weeks time. ‘You never know, it is a political as well as a racing decision. The team will make the decision and David Martinez may be driving. Even if David does drive I would want to be there to support the team at my home race and I would support David too. It is very difficult though, you don’t even know if you are coming back.’

Newcomers to the Series Christian Fittipaldi for A1 Team Brazil and Marcus Marshall for A1 Team Australia placed towards the back of the grid as they familiarised themselves with the A1 race car. Fittipaldi, nephew of A1 Team Brazil’s joint seat holder, Emerson has an especially tough challenge ahead of him as he has not driven a single-seater since he drove in CART in 2002.

  A1 Team Driver Aggregate Time
1 Great Britain Robbie Kerr 2.34.257
2 France Nicolas Lapierre 2.34.477
3 Mexico Salvador Duran 2.34.554
4 Switzerland Neel Jani 2.35.055
5 Japan Hayanari Shimoda 2.35.190
6 Malaysia Alex Yoong 2.35.447
7 Ireland Ralph Firman 2.35.670
8 Canada Sean McIntosh 2.35.685
9 South Africa Stephen Simpson 2.35.750
10 New Zealand Matt Halliday 2.35.797
11 Portugal Alvaro Parente 2.35.808
12 Czech Republic Tomas Enge 2.35.950
13 Netherlands Jos Verstappen 2.36.000
14 USA Philip Geibler 2.36.113
15 Germany Timo Scheider 2.36.319
16 Italy Max Busnelli 2.36.631
17 Indonesia Ananda Mikola 2.36.805
18 China Tengyi Jiang 2.37.313
19 Australia Marcus Marshall 2.37.950
20 Lebanon Basil Shaaban 2.38.275
21 Brazil Christian Fittipaldi 2.38.290
22 India Armaan Ebrahim 2.38.603
23 Austria Mathias Lauda 2.39.229

Despite a regulation which allows A1 Teams to switch drivers between Qualifying and the Sprint race, all teams have decided to retain their qualifying selection and there will be no driver changes.

The Sprint race will be contested over 50 miles lasting up to 30 minutes in duration. With a rolling start at 13.30 local time, tomorrow’s race will be run over 18 laps of the 3.23km circuit. The outcome of the race determines the grid positions for the Feature race which will start at 15.00 local time with a standing start. The Feature race will be run over 100 miles (40 laps) lasting up to 60 minutes in duration.

Reporting by A1GP.com

Robbie Kerr took his, and Team Great Britain's, first pole position.
(Picture A1GP.com)
A delighted Robbie Kerr after qualifying.
(Picture A1GP.com)
As ever Team France were on the pace with the second fastest time.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Salvador Duran took the third spot in the Team Mexico car.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Basil Shaaban (Team Lebanon) heads A1GP newcomer Christian Fittipaldi (Team Brazil).
(Picture A1GP.com)
Christian Fittipaldi and Team Brazil.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Neel Jani (Team Switzerland) finished fourth on the grid despite a near miss with Team Italy.
(Picture A1GP.com)
Ananda Mikola (Team Indonesia).
(Picture A1GP.com)
Marcus Marshall (Team Australia).
(Picture A1GP.com)
Timo Scheider in the Team Germany car.
(Picture A1GP.com)