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.
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.