Netherlands have broken the run of South African pole positions in qualifying for the feature race of the second A1 Grand Prix round of the season at Brno.

Battling back from a spin on his out-lap in qualifying for the sprint race that prevented him from setting a time, Jeroen Bleekemolen maintained the pace he showed during the first round of the season at Zandvoort to storm to the top of the timesheets in the first of the two sessions.

However, race one pole sitter South Africa mounted a strong challenge to that fastest time in the second session, Adrian Zaugg unusually off the pace in the first when he could only manage the 15th best time.

Nonetheless, the GP2 racer was back on form when it mattered by claiming the provisional pole position spot from Bleekemolen. However, just as South Africa did to New Zealand during qualifying for the sprint race, Netherlands hit back and undercut their time by a good two tenths.

The team's first pole position since the Beijing round of the 2006/07 season, Bleekemolen will be hoping he can repeat the outcome of that result when he claimed a lights to flag win.

While South Africa and Great Britain will start second and third, the rest of the grid had a different look to it, surprising given the lack of a gap between the two sessions.

As such, Switzerland will start fourth, just ahead of the impressive China, Congfu Cheng doing an impressive job for the team, while Brazil and Sergio Jimenez will start a strong sixth, the former GP2 driver out pacing race one front row sitters New Zealand, as well as France and Germany.

Canada round out the top ten, but generally those that impressed at Brno last season are struggling this weekend. Indeed, while 2006 podium sitter James Hinchcliffe starts 20th and 10th for the two races, last year's double winners Malaysia are down in 18th and 22nd.

Elsewhere, Ireland's fortunes took a turn for the worst when Adam Carroll could only manage 18th on the grid, a far cry from the fourth he managed only a few minutes earlier, while home nation Czech Republic start a disappointing 21st and 17th with Erik Janis at the wheel.



Loading Comments...