by Russell Atkins

This time last year, Robbie Kerr stormed to pole position in the A1GP season finale at Brands Hatch, dominated the sprint race and was then narrowly defeated by championship-winning Germany's Nico H?lkenberg in the longer feature outing. Twelve months on, he has the perfect opportunity to avenge that loss.

The British star will once again begin the sprint race in front of his partisan home supporters from the top position on the starting grid, having seen off the challenge of the World Cup of Motorsport's newest race-winner Jonathan Summerton in the USA's 'We The People' car. Though a strong run from Narain Karthikeyan prevented Kerr from making it two poles out of two in qualifying for the feature event, the High Wycombe ace is clearly keen to make it cause for a double celebration come race day.

"It was very close here today," the 28-year-old acknowledged afterwards, speaking exclusively to Crash.net Radio. "We know Narain knows the place really well - as well as I do - and it was always going to be tight. You only need to look at how close the times were during practice, and going into qualifying it was just going to be about who could put the perfect lap together.

"We were feeling fairly confident, we knew where the car was and for the sprint race qualifying we did a good lap. It wasn't perfect, but it was a good lap, and then unfortunately for the feature race we just got a little bit of a sideways moment which cost us the crucial tenths.

"We were feeling fairly confident, we knew where the car was and it was just a shame the wind direction changed a little bit and that ended up costing us slightly. I over-pushed somewhere where the wind had been helping us and of course the wind had died off, so it wasn't there to help me this time.

"I know Jonathan is quick too, and he's been quick round here before. It's good that he's there for the championship as well, because he's got to score some points for the USA, and it also shows that if we had waited a bit longer maybe we could have gone even quicker.

"We've got to be happy with the result and the way we have performed so far this weekend, though - it's just a shame not to be on pole for the feature too."

On Sunday Great Britain and will be battling it out for the honour of third place in the nations' standings, the position in which the former has finished in both of A1GP's campaigns to-date. France currently holds an eleven-point advantage in that duel, but should the teams' respective drivers finish the races in the same places in which they start - with Kerr first and second and Franck Montagny eighth and sixth - the home nation would comfortably prevail, and indeed could even pip New Zealand for the overall runner-up spot.

"We've just got to work at it, and we'll see what happens tomorrow," Kerr insisted. "I think the pace is going to be quite hot, so we're just going to focus on ourselves and make sure we get a good points' haul."

 

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