Neil Jani further clamped Switzerland's authority on 2007/08 A1GP proceedings, by storming to pole position - his third of the season - for the feature race in Zhuhai.

Having already secured a front row spot on the grid for the shorter sprint outing, the ex-GP2 star blitzed his rivals in the second session as he bids to extend Switzerland's current eight-point lead over France in the nations' standings.

"We had another great qualifying," confirmed the Sepang double race-winner, after overcoming braking woes that had threatened to derail his charge, "with second for the sprint race and first for the feature, but it's very tight this time and all very close - every little mistake can put you three spots back. I'm very pleased as yesterday we had a lot of brake problems, so the team did a great job to get it solved for today."

As in qualifying for the Sepang feature event three weeks ago, it will be Great Britain's Oliver Jarvis lining up alongside Jani on the front row, with the Macau F3 Grand Prix winner lapping just under two tenths of a second shy of the pace-setter.

"The free practice and qualifying sessions have been pretty tough," the 23-year-old stated, having also set the fifth-quickest time for the shorter sprint race. "Like Neel said, the track adheres to very close times so a small mistake can make a big difference.

"It's very difficult to get a full lap together; there are a lot of heavy braking zones and it's very easy to make a mistake. We've struggled a little bit so far, but hopefully we can have very good races and score a lot of points."

Indian former grand prix ace Narain Karthikeyan made a significant improvement on his earlier sprint race qualifying position of ninth by putting in a sensational lap in Q4 to secure third spot on the grid, closely followed by France's Loic Duval.

Sprint race pole-sitter Michael Ammerm?ller had to be content with fifth place this time, whilst CongFu Cheng again gave the partisan supporters something to cheer about by planting the Chinese entry firmly inside the top six on the grid for both outings - thereby achieving his country's best combined qualifying performance to-date.

"The track got a bit worse towards the end," Ammerm?ller explained. "We weren't in the top three, but still I think it's a good result. It's better to be first in the first race because it's a short race and quite difficult to overtake; the second race is all about strategy and anything is possible."

Sunday's sprint race will begin at 11am local time, with the 70-minute feature event due to get underway four hours later.

To see the sprint race qualifying times and positions in full, click here

 

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