by Russell Atkins

Neel Jani may have set out his stall to clinch pole position for the sprint race in the A1GP season finale at Brands Hatch this weekend, but the Swiss ace acknowledged that a brace of third places on the grid would do him just fine as title rival New Zealand languished well down the order.

Switzerland are in need of just four points to secure the laurels at the end of the World Cup of Motorsport's third campaign, and though both Great Britain and the USA stymied Jani's stated aim of taking the top spot for the sprint - and thereby edging a further point closer to glory - and India and GBR denied him for the feature, with Jonny Reid and Black Beauty trailing in tenth and 17th positions for the two races, barring a disaster on Sunday, the title is now all-but assured.

"It's not the pole we wanted," the 24-year-old reflected, speaking exclusively to Crash.net Radio. "I was definitely going for it in the sprint qualifying, and it looked good after segment one. In segment two I had a little problem on the 'out' lap - just not warming up the tyres enough - and the USA was definitely a surprise in qualifying one.

"In qualifying two India was the surprise. I actually nearly had pole, until the last corner where I lost four tenths. That left me in P3 again, two tenths behind pole, but twice P3 is okay compared to where New Zealand is starting.

"In the end I think we have a good car; we just need to get everything together and be consistent tomorrow and we will be okay. The tactics for the races are to get podiums, and if possible to win."

Beyond that, though the former GP2 and Champ Car star does not have a full programme in place for the post-A1GP upcoming months, he makes little secret of where he hopes to be next year.

"I have different, interesting cars to test," he revealed, "and obviously my plan is to get a Formula 1 drive for 2009. I have time in the summer to maybe sort something out, and either way from September to January there is no problem to drive in A1GP. I want to drive in A1GP again, and I'm going to push for that because I really like the championship. If Team Switzerland takes me, I will be back."

 

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