Adrian Zaugg thoroughly dominated qualifying for the opening two races of the 2007/08 A1GP campaign, storming to a brace of pole positions in the wet and windy conditions at the track where he claimed South Africa's maiden series success almost exactly twelve months ago.

The former GP2 star was utterly imperious around Zandvoort, setting the fastest time in three of the four sessions to make it clear he will take some beating on Sunday. After snatching the top spot away from France in Q2 - with Loic Duval spinning away his chances of a riposte - Zaugg was then almost a full seven tenths of a second to the good in qualifying for the feature race, clearly revelling in the conditions and circuit layout.

"I'm really pleased with the double pole and I want to say thanks to the team for setting the car up so well for qualifying today," the delighted 20-year-old enthused afterwards. "I'm not sure what the weather conditions will be like tomorrow, so we'll just have to see what we're able to do."

Early practice pace-setter Duval will line up alongside Zaugg for the sprint and fifth for the feature, and was confident of making amends for his Q2 error come the races.

"I pushed a bit too hard at turn five," he candidly admitted. "The track was getting drier and the car was set-up for the wet, so I don't know if I could have been faster than Zaugg in Q2 anyway, but it's not a bad result to be on the first row for the first race and I will try to win it.

"Our car was really good in the rain but not so good in the dry conditions. We're starting the feature race from fifth and we have two compulsory pit-stops this year, so anything can happen."

Mexico and Switzerland annexed the second row of the grid for the sprint race in the hands of Salvador Duran and Neel Jani respectively, with local star Jeroen Bleekemolen fifth and pre-season favourites Germany sixth courtesy of rookie Christian Vietoris. The 2006 Formula BMW ADAC Champion and current German F3 front-runner would, however, better justify his status as a title contender in qualifying for the feature event, when he will line up alongside Zaugg on the front row thanks to an impressive late charge.

"We actually had a few problems under braking in Q1 and Q2 which we worked on and improved for Q3," Vietoris remarked, "and then I set my best lap in Q4. We didn't plan it this way but it all came together quite well for us in the end."

"This morning we started off really well because I know the track in the wet," added Bleekemolen, who will begin the feature race a disappointing eleventh in front of his home fans, "but then we had to work on the car and struggled a bit. We should have waited longer to go out in Q4, but we heard it was going to rain again so they sent me out.

"It's a shame because I think we could have been top five for the feature race too. I'm looking forward to both races tomorrow; the weather's hard to predict here so it should be quite exciting."

Great Britian's Oliver Jarvis momentarily knocked Zaugg off the top spot in the final session, but was ultimately forced to settle for third on the feature race grid alongside Jani, a welcome tonic after managing only a lowly tenth spot for the sprint.

The sprint race will begin at 11:00 local time, with the 70-minute feature due to get underway at 15:00.

 

Comments

Loading Comments...