Jonny Reid gave the home fans something to cheer about by storming to a comfortable pole position for the A1GP sprint race in front of throngs of partisan supporters in Taupo, and now he wants to convert that into race day victory.

Reid's lap - three tenths of a second clear of South Africa's Adrian Zaugg - marks New Zealand's first top spot in qualifying of the 2007/08 campaign, and came in windy, dusty conditions in which many drivers chose to leave their efforts as late as possible.

The 24-year-old was third-quickest in the opening 15-minute session, before bringing the crowds to their feet in the dying moments of session two to steal P1 and going on to back that up with fifth on the starting grid for the longer feature outing.

"It was a fantastic feeling to see everyone on their feet in the grandstands as I came across the line," Reid enthused afterwards. "I had no radio communication during the session, but I could see the crowd was pretty excited and I was hoping it was at least the front row. It was a very clean lap in Q2 and not many mistakes, which is pleasing.

"We slipped up a bit for the feature race qualifying, but we'll be there when it comes to the racing tomorrow. I have the home support and I really want this one."

Zaugg will line up alongside the home hero on the front row, the Zandvoort curtain-raiser winner's highest starting position since Brno back in October. Loic Duval - the form man throughout practice - will begin third for Team France ahead of Germany's Christian Vietoris, whose countryman Michael Ammerm?ller triumphed last time out in Zhuhai to end the reigning champions' barren run.

The Netherlands' Jeroen Bleekemolen and USA's Jonathan Summerton will share the third row of the grid in fifth and sixth places respectively, with Ireland's Adam Carroll seventh, series leader Switzerland's Neel Jani an off-colour eleventh and Great Britain's Robbie Kerr a lowly 13th, almost a full second-and-a-half shy of the front-running pace.

 

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