Even a change of drivers has failed to lift A1 Team Ireland further up the grid for the fifth round of the championship at Sentul, with an off for Richard Lyons leaving him down in 18th place for his debut race in the series.

Replacing Michael Devaney for this round, former Formula Nippon champion Lyons experienced a difficult first attempt at the aggregate format qualifying session, culminating in a spin in the second segment that sent him into the barriers and damaged the front of his car.

Although he was able to return to the circuit in time for the third and fourth sessions, the loss of momentum set the team back to a disappointing 18th on the grid, leaving Lyons with plenty to do come race day.

"Obviously I am disappointed with the way today has gone and I have a lot of work to do tomorrow to if we are to salvage a result from this weekend. We got the car to the point where it was improving, but the accident cost us dearly. I made a small mistake under heavy braking but the team did a great job getting the car repaired and back out on the track for the next run."

Team principal Mark Gallagher was disappointed that a change of driver had not given the team the boost they were searching for, but nonetheless vowed to keep pushing.

"We certainly are not seeing a change in our fortunes, but the team has again worked hard and Richard was unfortunate to have that off. We just have to dig even deeper and keep pushing until we make the progress the team deserves."



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