Lapierre Puts France on Pole

France broke Brazil's dominance of the inaugural A1 Grand Prix season by claiming pole position for this weekend's second round of the Championship at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz in Germany

Lapierre Puts France on Pole

With each driver's qualifying position decided by their best two laps out a four - one in each 15 minute session - GP2 racer Nicolas Lapierre had done enough after the third session to guarantee pole. He turned in an aggregate pole time of three minutes and 5.332 seconds, with both of his laps separated by just one-hundredth of a second.

"The car was very good and worked well on new tyres," said Lapierre. "You can see that as I could do three fast laps at similar times."

Brazil's Nelson Piquet was forced to settle for third on the grid, as Team USA's Scott Speed put in the fastest single lap of qualifying - a 1:23.622 - in the dying seconds of the last session to finish just 0.056 off pole. Brazil will share the second row with Great Britain's Robbie Kerr, who reclaimed the position from Germany's Timo Scheider at the death.

"We tried a lot of setups and all of a sudden it worked for us," said Speed, who failed to score for the USA in the opening races at Brands Hatch. "We knew we were quick because the car felt good."

Switzerland (Neel Jani) and Italy (Enrico Toccacelo) bagged sixth and seventh, ahead of Team Ireland. Ralph Firman, making his first appearance for Ireland, recovered from missing the second session after suffering fuel pump and alternator failure on the slowing down lap in the first.

British F3 Champion Alvaro Parente took a solid ninth for Portugal after being dogged by braking problems in practice, with the Dutch team claiming the final top ten slot through ex-F1 racer Jos Verstappen.

Tomas Enge made his A1 debut for the Czech Republic, but slipped out of the top ten and down to12th in the final session, although he would have been more satisfied than fellow IRL IndyCar Series regular Tomas Scheckter. The South African driver finished one from last in 23rd position after struggling to achieve a satisfactory setup and having only limited running in today's practice session.

Pos Driver Country Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Aggr. Gap
1. Nicolas Lapierre France 1:33.834 1:32.661 1:32.671 1:32.704 3:05.332  
2. Scott Speed USA 1:35.193 1:33.305 1:32.766 1:32.622 3:05.388 + 0.056
3. Nelson Piquet Jr Brazil 1:33.207 1:33.398 1:32.760 1:32.826 3:05.586 + 0.254
4. Robbie Kerr Great Britain 1:33.233 1:33.555 1:33.140 1:33.061 3:06.201 + 0.869
5. Timo Scheider Germany 1:34.785 1:33.212 1:33.205 1:33.004 3:06.209 + 0.877
6. Neel Jani Switzerland 1:34.658 1:33.761 1:33.554 1:32.901 3:06.455 + 1.123
7. Enrico Toccacelo Italy 1:34.868 1:33.629 1:33.769 1:33.380 3:07.009 + 1.677
8. Ralph Firman Ireland 1:34.764 1:33.626 1:33.409 3:07.035 + 1.703
9. Alvaro Parente Portugal 1:36.019 1:33.795 1:33.659 1:33.714 3:07.373 + 2.041
10. Jos Verstappen Netherlands 1:34.405 1:33.854 1:34.477 1:33.537 3:07.391 + 2.059
11. David Martinez Mexico 1:35.729 1:34.439 1:33.903 1:33.522 3:07.425 + 2.093
12. Tomas Enge Czech Republic 1:34.979 1:33.546 1:34.162 1:33.903 3:07.449 + 2.117
13. Sean Mcintosh Canada 1:35.027 1:34.377 1:33.927 1:33.657 3:07.584 + 2.252
14. Jonny Reid New Zealand 1:34.115 1:34.530 1:33.898 1:33.781 3:07.679 + 2.347
15. Ananda Mikola Indonesia 1:36.242 1:34.143 1:33.638 1:34.091 3:07.729 + 2.397
16. Adam Khan Pakistan 1:35.801 1:34.768 1:34.132 1:34.427 3:08.559 + 3.227
17. Karun Chandhok India 1:36.655 1:34.890 1:34.365 3:09.255 + 3.923
18. Alex Yoong Malaysia 1:36.080 1:35.334 1:34.165 3:09.499 + 4.167
19. Mathias Lauda Austria 1:37.094 1:35.162 1:35.189 1:34.558 3:09.720 + 4.388
20. Tengyi Jiang China 1:37.109 1:35.099 1:35.578 1:35.062 3:10.161 + 4.829
21. Hideki Noda Japan 1:35.712 1:35.179 1:35.166 3:10.345 + 5.013
22. Christian Jones Australia 1:35.846 1:37.006 1:35.442 1:34.929 3:10.371 + 5.039
23. Tomas Scheckter South Africa 1:37.190 1:36.368 1:34.987 1:35.537 3:10.524 + 5.192
24. Khalil Beschir Lebanon 1:36.832 1:36.549 1:35.706 1:37.522 3:12.255 + 6.923
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