Nico Hulkenberg surged to the top of the timesheets in final practice ahead of qualifying for the eighth round of A1 Grand Prix in Durban, the German holding off day one pace setters France and series returnees Portugal.

Although there were none of the 'kerbing' problems that afflicted running in first practice, the street circuit nonetheless continued to claim its victims, with the session catching out a number of drivers, including Salvador Duran, Karl Reindler, Richard Lyons and Bruno Junqueira, who pushed the limits just that bit too far.

Nonetheless, Hulkenberg rarely looked troubled at the top of the timesheets after hitting the front half way through the session, the teenager's time proving nearly half a second up on Loic Duval, the Frenchman continuing to pose a significant threat after dominating proceedings on the opening day.

Special mention however goes to Portugal, Alvaro Parente putting the team third fastest just two days after confirming their return to the championship. Having scored a podium at Durban last season, Portugal and Parente could prove the surprise packages this weekend.

As could Ireland and Indonesia, after they secured the fifth and sixth fastest times respectively behind New Zealand in fourth. Indeed, having proved quick over the first day, both Richard Lyons - hitting back after his earlier crash - and Ananda Mikola are seemingly carrying that speed into third practice and beyond as they seek to improve their season's fortunes this weekend.

Netherlands' Jeroen Bleekemolen was seventh quickest, ahead of a somewhat lacklustre Great Britain, Robbie Kerr not showing the pace that took the nation to the podium last season.

Rounding out the top ten were the recovering Bruno Junqueira for Brazil and Alex Yoong for Malaysia, the former leaving his best lap to the very last attempt to rocket up from 20th to ninth place.



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