Narain Karthikeyan destroyed Robbie Kerr's hopes of making it a double pole position joy at Brands Hatch in qualifying for the longer feature race, by seeing off his British rival's challenge to make history for India again.

Having already secured his nation's breakthrough triumph in the World Cup of Motorsport - at Zhuhai in China last December - Karthikeyan has now gone and sealed another record by storming to the top spot in qualifying for the feature race in the 2007/08 A1GP finale at Brands Hatch.

France's Franck Montagny was the first driver to put in an appearance in Q3, with six minutes of the session left to run. The rest of the front-runners held their nerve until there were as little as two minutes left on the clock, and Jeroen Bleekemolen was the first to show his hand, going quickest of all in the first split.

Adam Carroll in the Irish machine then went faster still, before Karthikeyan pulled a superb lap out of the bag to go top, only to be immediately deposed by home hero Kerr. Adrian Zaugg was well up for South Africa in third, followed by sprint race front row starter Jonathan Summerton in the American 'We The People' entry, Carroll, championship leader Neel Jani, rising Portuguese ace Filipe Albuquerque and Montagny.

Jonny Reid - the only man capable of preventing Switzerland's march to the crown - lay a lowly 13th aboard Black Beauty. Final practice pace-setter CongFu Cheng was similarly still all at sea in the Chinese entry, a long way back in 16th spot.

The drivers again left it agonisingly late before heading out onto the track in Q4, and Michael Ammermuller, Carroll and Jani all briefly held the top spot before first Karthikeyan and then Kerr displaced them. Cheng at last showed some semblance of his earlier form by vaulting up to seventh, but a traffic-afflicted Reid went slower than he had done in Q3 and consequently and crucially slipped even further down the grid.

With the order thus set, Karthikeyan preceded Kerr by just over two tenths of a second, with Jani and Carroll again sharing row two - as they will do in the sprint race - Ammermuller's late charge hoisting defending champions Germany up into fifth and Montagny achieving his highest qualifying performance to-date in sixth.

Zaugg, Cheng, Summerton - who threw away his last effort with a costly spin - and Bleekemolen rounded out the top ten, with New Zealand all the way down in a disastrous 17th spot - and surely now out of title contention.

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

 

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