France Fastest in Final Practice

GP2 race winner Alexandre Premat demonstrated that Team France will be a force to be reckoned with in this weekend's inaugural A1 Grand Prix meeting, after topping the time sheets in the third free practice session

France Fastest in Final Practice

Premat set the fastest lap of the weekend so far around the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit with a time of 1:15.420.

Matt Halliday was a surprise second in the all-black New Zealand car, only 0.382 behind the French entry. Yesterday's pace setter in the wet, Nelson Piquet Jr, was third in the Brazilian car despite having to be recovered after a spin at Paddock Hill Bend.

Yet again, the session suffered multiple red flags.

Mattias Lauda caused two of the session stops, after spinning the Austrian car each time. The first time he stopped on track at Dingle Dell, but the second time was more terminal, as he clouted the barrier on the run up to Druids Hairpin, after going off at the bottom of Paddock Hill Bend.

The Russian car of Nikolay Fomenko also came to grief at Paddock Hill bend, and despite the best efforts of the marshals to remove the car under waved-yellow flags, the red flag was shown.

They weren't the only cars to have off-track moments. Both Scott Speed in the Team USA car and the Czech Republic's Jan Charouz ended their sessions in the gravel at the Druids Hairpin. Jos Verstappen's bright orange Dutch car also had an off-track moment, and Sean McIntosh spun the Canadian car.

The session was the final chance for practicing the Kent track until this afternoon's qualifying session.

Qualifying has been designed to fit into a two-hour broadcasting slot and comprise four, fifteen-minute sessions. The nations will complete only one flying lap in each of the sessions. The fastest two will be added together to determine the grid positions for the series' sprint race.

Pos  Team            Driver             Time                Laps
 1.  France          Alexandre Premat   1:15.420             29
 2.  New Zealand     Matt Halliday      1:15.802 +  0.382    25
 3.  Brazil          Nelson Piquet Jr   1:15.833 +  0.413    26
 4.  Usa             Scott Speed        1:15.968 +  0.548    19
 5.  Switzerland     Neel Jani          1:16.292 +  0.872    25
 6.  South Africa    Stephen Simpson    1:16.364 +  0.944    16
 7.  Portugal        Alvaro Parente     1:16.537 +  1.117    22
 8.  Netherlands     Jos Verstappen     1:16.704 +  1.284    19
 9.  Japan           Ryo Fukuda         1:16.809 +  1.389    27
10.  Italy           Enrico Tocaccelo   1:16.860 +  1.440    19
11.  Great Britain   Robbie Kerr        1:16.861 +  1.441    21
12.  Australia       Will Power         1:16.970 +  1.550    27
13.  Mexico          Salvador Duran     1:17.039 +  1.619    24
14.  Malaysia        Firaz Fauzy        1:17.045 +  1.625    22
15.  Czech Republic  Jan Charouz        1:17.185 +  1.765    24
16.  Ireland         Michael Devaney    1:17.206 +  1.786    30
17.  Canada          Sean Macintosh     1:17.513 +  2.093    29
18.  Austria         Mathias Lauda      1:17.626 +  2.206    12
19.  Indonesia       Ananda Mikola      1:17.678 +  2.258    27
20.  Germany         Timo Scheider      1:17.692 +  2.272    13
21.  Pakistan        Adam Khan          1:17.804 +  2.384    20
22.  India           Karun Chandhok     1:18.983 +  3.563    12
23.  Lebanon         Khalil Beschir     1:19.368 +  3.948    26
24.  China           Tengyi Jiang       1:20.441 +  5.021    27
25.  Russia          Nikolay Fomenko    1:29.789 + 14.369     9 
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