Robbie Kerr is well placed to continue Great Britain's recent success in A1 Grand Prix after a stunning late effort saw him score the team's first pole position of the season for the penultimate round in Shanghai.

Going some way to mark his intentions having seen Oliver Jarvis claim the team's first win in Mexico, Kerr has looked like the driver to beat around the Chinese Formula 1 circuit having topped practice and although he let Jonathan Summerton and Jonny Reid battle away in the first two qualifying sessions, the Brit came good in three and four to score the team's first pole since the Sentul round last season.

Indeed, New Zealand's Reid had looked to have cemented the top spot only for Kerr to sweep in with his final effort in the fourth session to record a lap some half a second quicker than anybody else had produced.

"We had been going at it all the way through qualifying and over night we tried a few different changes on the car which we had to back-peddle on because they didn't work quite as we expected, so through qualifying we had to re-work the car and just get used to it again and get the car handling how we wanted it," Kerr said.

"So it was just building on what we had done through the other qualifying segments and just put them all together and that's what we went out there and did. We were pretty confident it was going to stay dry throughout the whole of the sessions and we just wanted to give ourselves that extra bit of time to make a few changes to run through the car more deeply and so we could really make that last session count."

Also continuing the form shown in Mexico, Jonathan Summerton will start third for USA having gone quickest in the first session, the former F3 Euroseries race winner's qualifying position also the team's best of the season.

Champion-elect Nico Hulkenberg is nicely positioned to cement the title for Germany from fourth too, even if it is the first time the long-time standings leader will start outside the top three for the first time since the last Chinese round in Beijing.

There was also happiness for the Indian team who recorded their first-ever top five qualifying performance courtesy of Narain Karthikeyan, the former Formula 1 driver smashing the team's previous best of tenth, even if his two best lap times came after struggling early on.

Jean-Karl Vernay had an equally mixed session but hooked up two laps to claim seventh for France, just a place behind F3 Euroseries counterpart Sebastien Buemi in the Swiss entry.

Mexico winners Malaysia will start in eighth, ahead of series returnee Sean McIntosh who secured Canada's first top ten start in some races following a disappointing spell for the team recently, while Enrico Toccacelo rounded out the top ten for Italy.

Elsewhere, race debutants Vitor Meira, Sergio Perez, Joao Urbano and Filip Salaquarda for Brazil, Mexico, Portugal and Czech Republic will start 15th, 16th, 18th and 19th respectively.

 

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