After lapping consistently towards the top end of the timesheets throughout free practice, Robbie Kerr was disappointed to slip back down the order in qualifying, with traffic, grip woes and a small mistake consigning him to the quagmire of the midfield.

With fourth-placed Great Britain seeking to chase down championship leaders' Switzerland, the result represents particularly bad news, as Kerr lines up 13th and ninth respectively for Taupo's sprint and feature races.

Confidence had been high in the British camp following the final practice session - when the High Wycombe ace and A1GP veteran had wound up second-fastest, just a tenth shy of Team France's Lo?c Duval - but traffic on his 'out' lap in Q1 prevented him from getting his new rubber up to optimum running temperature in time, a situation that would subsequently prove academic anyway when he came upon Team India's Narain Karthikeyan spinning in front of him on his 'hot' lap.

The squad made significant set-up changes ahead of feature race qualifying, although running on old tyres made it difficult to see much benefit. A clipped kerb in Q3 and suspected fuel pressure problem would once again see Kerr off the leading pace, even if he was significantly closer to the pole position time than he had been in qualifying for the sprint outing.

"I'm obviously disappointed with qualifying having been reasonably competitive yesterday, very competitive this morning and setting competitive laps on old tyres," the 28-year-old reflected afterwards. "The grip levels just weren't there during qualifying, and we also have a technical problem which the team is going to look into. Then on the last lap I pushed too hard which cost a couple of tenths. Unfortunately we weren't in a position to be on the front row this time."

"We're obviously not where we want to be," concurred team principal Katie Clements, "particularly after a promising performance in practice this morning. It will be a struggle starting from 13th and ninth on the grid, but the team are confident our race pace will be competitive, so we'll be aiming for some points."



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