Adam Carroll has strengthened Ireland's position as the nation to beat in A1GP after sweeping to pole position for both races in Taupo, New Zealand.

Although the championship leaders have kept a low profile so far this weekend, Carroll was on fine form as he battled with Netherlands and Portugal in both qualifying segments to decide the grid for the sprint and feature race.

With most of the best times coming in the latter stages of the short session, Switzerland's Neel Jani drew first blood, only for Carroll to dip beneath his time by a mere 0.005secs.

Going quicker the next revolution, Ireland was joined in the 1min 14s by Robert Doornbos and Felipe Albuquerque, who shadowed him in second and third positions. Switzerland were forced down to fourth, followed by France's Loic Duval and local favourite Chris van der Drift in sixth.

Australia (John Martin), Italy (Edoardo Piscopo), Malaysia (Fairuz Fauzy) and Lebanon (Daniel Morad) rounded out the top ten, while Great Britain's Dan Clarke continued his tough A1GP initiation with 15th on the grid.

Quickly out on track again to decide the positions for the feature race, the grid had a very familiar look to it up at the front as Carroll pumped in a new lap record to claim another top spot, followed by Doornbos and Albuquerque.

Australia moved onto the second row, Martin doing a fine job to initially take the fight to Carroll before fading to fourth. Switzerland starts fifth, ahead of an improved Malaysian effort from Fauzy.

France start the second race from seventh, ahead of USA's Marco Andretti, who made substantial gains from 17th on the sprint race grid after experiencing an off-track moment. Lebanon and New Zealand complete the leading positions.

Great Britain's Clarke will start the feature race from 14th.



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