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Zuber on GT1 pole as session stopped

Phoenix/Carsport Corvette, Abu Dhabi qualifying 2010Sportscar newcomer Andreas Zuber claimed pole position for the opening round of the new FIA GT1 World Championship in Abu Dhabi after qualifying was abandoned as a result of a serious accident.

The Phoenix/Carsport Chevrolet driver's time of 2m06.780s around the Yas Marina circuit will stand as pole because it will take up to three hours to repair the barriers at the end of the long back straight, where Natacha Gachnang crashed her Matech Ford GT just over 17 minutes into the opening round of qualifying.

GP2 graduate Zuber, whose team-mate Marc Hennerici will start tomorrow afternoon's qualifying race from pole, said: "I have to say it was a clear lap. I didn't push so much, but maybe when you push in these cars, you go slower. They are a bit different to a formula car [single-seater]."

Austrian Zuber will not get to start the main race from pole even if and his German team-mate win the one-hour qualifying event. All four Chevrolet Corvette C6.Rs will be given a 10-place grid penalty for the championship event because the cars are not in compliance with the sporting regulations concerning the position of the ballast required to bring them up to the new minimum weight of 1200kg.

Hexis Aston Martin driver Frederic Makowiecki was second fastest with a time nearly a second slower than than Zuber. The Frenchman's 2m07.705 lap was less a tenth ahead of Enrique Bernoldi in the best of the four Maserati MC12s on the entry list.

Gachnang was helicoptered to hospital after treatment at the circuit medical centre. The details of her condition released so far are that she was conscious when she was removed from the car and has a suspected broken leg.

Pos  Drivers                 Team/Car              Time       Gap
 1.  Zuber/Hennerici         Phoenix Corvette      2m06.780s
 2.  Makowiecki/Deletraz     Hexis Aston Martin    2m07.705s  + 0.925s
 3.  Bernoldi/Ramos          Vitaphone Maserati    2m07.763s  + 0.983s
 4.  Maassen/Muller          MadCroc Corvette      2m08.049s  + 1.269s
 5.  Bertolini/Bartels       Vitaphone Maserati    2m08.070s  + 1.290s
 6.  Salo/Kuismanen          MadCroc Corvette      2m08.078s  + 1.298s
 7.  Kox/Haase               Reiter Lamborghini    2m08.090s  + 1.310s
 8.  Turner/Enge             Young Driver Aston    2m08.143s  + 1.363s
 9.  Krumm/Dumbreck          SumoPower Nissan      2m08.287s  + 1.507s
10.  Leinders/Martin         Marc VDS Ford         2m08.322s  + 1.542s
11.  Mutsch/Grosjean         Matech Ford           2m08.463s  + 1.683s
12.  Margaritis/Heger        Triple H Maserati     2m08.494s  + 1.714s
13.  Ara/Nilsson             SRT Nissan            2m08.610s  + 1.830s
14.  Wendlinger/Moser        SRT Nissan            2m08.652s  + 1.872s
15.  Palttala/Kuppens        Marc VDS Ford         2m08.737s  + 1.957s
16.  Bobbi/Longin            Triple H Maserati     2m08.787s  + 2.007s
17.  Jager/Basseng           All-Inkl Lamborghini  2m08.798s  + 2.018s
18.  Piccione/Hirschi        Hexis Aston Martin    2m09.046s  + 2.266s
19.  Hughes/Campbell-Walter  SumoPower Nissan      2m09.446s  + 2.666s
20.  Nygaard/Mucke           Young Driver Aston    2m09.629s  + 2.849s
21.  Gachnang/Allemann       Matech Ford           2m09.964s  + 3.184s
22.  Zonta/Daniel            Reiter Lamborghini    2m10.261s  + 3.481s
23.  Pastorelli/Schwager     All-Inkl Lamborghini  2m10.628s  + 3.848s
24.  Hezemans/Piccini        Phoenix Corvette      2m16.352s  + 9.572s
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