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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