CongFu Cheng sent out a warning signal to Robbie Kerr that the Briton will not have it all his own way in the 2007/08 A1GP season finale at Brands Hatch this weekend, by leading the way in the second free practice session.

Kerr is considered to be something of a Brands specialist, having set pole position around the Kent circuit this time last year and gone on to record the maiden victory of his A1GP career in the sprint outing, adding to that with a runner-up spot in the longer feature after waging a race-long battle with champions Germany.

Though the 28-year-old may get a boost from racing in front of his enthusiastic home supporters, even that was still not enough to see off the Chinese threat in Saturday's sole practice session, however, as Kerr and Cheng traded times for much of the hour before the latter set a marker that was just over two tenths of a second out of reach.

The pair were well clear of third-placed Narain Karthikeyan in the Indian entry at the close of proceedings, with championship protagonists Neel Jani and Jonny Reid staging a similar see-saw tussle over fourth and separated by a scant seven hundredths of a second. The Kiwi needs to go all-out for glory this weekend if New Zealand are to have any hope at all of depriving Switzerland of the crown, though even then Jani would need just four points - equivalent to one seventh place from either race - to put the title beyond all doubt.

"You really need to go and attack to be quick here," underlined the 24-year-old, already a six-time pole position holder in the World Cup of Motorsport's third season. "This is definitely a hard track, and I think Great Britain has a little advantage over everybody. To beat Robbie will be the hardest qualifying task of the season without a doubt, but I'm focused on winning the sprint race pole to help us win the championship.'

Portugal's Filipe Albuquerque shone again up in sixth, with near-namesake Filip Salaquarda of the Czech Republic producing perhaps a more surprising performance just behind in seventh.

Shanghai winner Jonathan Summerton was eighth in the 'We The People' car, with Germany's Michael Ammerm?ller and Frenchman Franck Montagny completing the top ten. Other expected front-runners Ireland, South Africa and Canada - with series returnee Sean Hinchcliffe a spinner during the session - wound up respectively down in twelfth, 13th and 15th spots, though both the Toronto native and Ulsterman Adam Carroll had shown well early on.

The official qualifying session is set to get underway at 2:15pm.

 

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