On what is possibly his final weekend of A1GP competition, Lo?c Duval showed that he intends to sign off in style by storming to pole position for the sprint outing at Eastern Creek in Australia, round six of ten in the 2007/08 campaign.

Having set the pace during practice as he had done at Taupo a fortnight previously, this time the Frenchman proved capable of converting that promise when it really counted, by seeing off title rival Switzerland's Neel Jani by just seven hundredths of a second to seal the top spot. With it he considerably bolstered France's hopes of bringing an end to its victory drought in the nation vs nation series, one that stretches all the way back to Mexico almost two years ago.

"The top step of the podium is our target," the 25-year-old confidently affirmed. "This is maybe my last weekend in A1GP, so I would like to leave the series with a win.

"We are in the best position for the sprint race which makes it easier for the start. We are quite competitive and we are always fighting from the front. If we can get a good start tomorrow morning it's going to be difficult for the other drivers to attack us."

Early-season championship pace-setter Jani, who had been struggling with grip levels and tyre wear all weekend up until qualifying, returned to his usual fine form to set the second-quickest time during Q2 and line the Swiss machine up alongside Duval on the front row of the grid.

South Africa's Adrian Zaugg also ended up within a tenth of a second of Duval's effort to take third spot, with new championship leader New Zealand alongside on row two courtesy of Taupo sprint race star Jonny Reid.

China's increasingly impressive Congfu Cheng and the USA's Jonathan Summerton in the 'We The People' car will share the third row of the grid in fifth and sixth places respectively, with final title contender Germany almost half a second shy of the leading pace down in seventh in the hands of Zhuhai sprint winner and series returnee Michael Ammerm?ller.

Great Britain's Robbie Kerr will begin the race from eighth, ahead of fans' favourite John Martin in ninth - his nation's best qualifying performance so far this season and first top ten start on home soil - with Jeroen Bleekemolen rounding out the top ten in the Dutch entry.

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

 

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