Having proved somewhat anonymous over the weekend so far, Netherlands came out fighting when it mattered in qualifying at Taupo, with Jeroen Bleekemolen taking fourth on the grid, even if he insists he should have been on the front row.

Arguably the team's best qualifying performance of the season when their inherited pole position in Beijing is not taken into account, Bleekemolen barely featured inside the top ten during practice but immediately came to fore in qualifying when he scored the third fastest time in the first two segments.

With the circuit conditions improving constantly, Bleekemolen looked set to challenge for pole position in the final two sessions but instead found himself sidelined when his engine refused to start. Being forced to miss the third segment, Bleekemolen got going again in the final session to claim the second fastest time, which in turn moved him up to fourth on the grid.

However, while the former DTM driver admits he is pleased with his position on the second row, he was also frustrated that mechanical dramas forced him to sit out the crucial third a segment, a session he insists could have put him as high as second.

"On the one hand I am pleased, we are very competitive. Apart from China this is our best qualifying position. On the other hand we could have been on the front row if we could have just run the third segment.

"We had a problem with a car that would not start, nobody can help that. It is a terrible shame though, we were really battling for pole. But anyway, we can still prove that we are amongst the quickest here and I am hoping for two good races."

 

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