Robert Wickens marked his A1 Grand Prix debut in qualifying with an impressive run to fifth place on the grid for the sprint race at Sepang.

Embarking on his first race weekend with the team after driving the car during the rookie sessions in Brno, Wickens is out to score Canada's first points of the season after Champ Car Atlantic rival James Hinchcliffe failed to do so in the opening two races.

Nonetheless, despite his inexperience of the car and the circuit, Wickens, who recently impressed on his European racing debut in the Renault World Series, was immediately on form to produce the fifth fastest time in qualifying for the first race.

Things were not so good in qualifying for the feature event after an off ruined his chances on his optimum lap, a mistake that left him down in 12th place. Nonetheless, the teenager is confident he can recover in the races and challenge for the leading positions.

"Qualifying for the Sprint race went well," said Wickens afterwards. "That said, the South African car almost stopped in front of me on my first run and that held me up. I am frustrated not to have qualified better for the Feature race, I had a little off and that ruined my final lap which was disappointing.

"I think we made good progress yesterday and again today so now we just have to concentrate on getting the finish in the points for the Sprint race and making up ground in the Feature. I think we're in quite good shape!"



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