The arrival of Gary Anderson has helped Ireland to their best qualifying position of the season at Taupo, even if Richard Lyons still found himself disappointed with ninth after showing strong pace in practice.

Indeed, following a disappointing start to the season that has yielded just a single point thus far, the arrival of Anderson to take over the role as engineer has immediately made a difference in the squad, with Lyons even managing the third fastest time in practice ahead of qualifying.

However, as has been the case on several occasions this season, Ireland failed to get the best from their tyres when it mattered in qualifying and although Lyons was consistently inside the top ten - setting the eighth fastest time in three of the four segments - it was only good enough for ninth on the grid.

With their practice pace in mind, Lyons was disappointed with his final qualifying slot, particularly as he believed he had the pace for a place on the first two rows of the grid.

"We had a good practice and if I had been able to repeat my best time on the two best qualifying runs we'd have been 4th on the grid. Unfortunately we had a problem on new tyres with the pressures going much higher than expected during a run.

"I also had problems with traffic on the second of my three sets of new tyres and on the final run everything was ok until I made a mistake on the final sector which cost me three tenths of a second. It was partly down to the way the car was handling, but anyhow we weren't as quick as we wanted to be.

Nonetheless, with Ireland showing a significant upturn in pace this weekend, Lyons is confident of a strong result come race day.

"My objective tomorrow is to come away with two good race finishes and a baseline set-up that we can really work with going forward. Overall things are pretty good."



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