The first ever A1GP race will see Team Brazil on pole after Nelson Piquet Jr represented his nation in the best way possible to set the fastest aggregate qualifying time at the British race circuit of Brands Hatch.

Piquet is joined on the front row by Matt Halliday, the Kiwi putting in a very impressive performance at a track that he'd never seen before, let alone raced on.

Qualifying for the sprint race saw four fifteen minutes sessions in which each driver could go out to set a flying lap. An aggregate of the two fastest laps set by each driver would provide the time to determine the grid.

Nelson Piquet Jr sat out the final qualifying fifteen minute session after setting the fastest time of the weekend with a 1min 14.965secs time in the third session at the track where this time last year the Brazilian clinched the British F3 title.

"Everything was just great for me and this is the first session since the very first one that I have had no problems," said Piquet after the session. "I didn't come out for the last session so I was a bit nervous in case somebody beat my time but fortunately no one managed to do it."

Piquet was quick to praise the qualifying format. "The qualifying format for us drivers is excellent and gives us good experience. You have to be calm and careful. Those who stay calm and confident get the best lap."

Matt Halliday for Team New Zealand impressed with the second fastest times; not bad for a driver who'd never seen the track before and for one who has not been expected by many to be in the front-runners.

France went third fastest with Alex Premat at the wheel, whilst Team USA with Scott Speed had a bad time of qualifying, and will start the race way down in seventeenth place - quite some contrast from topping the timesheets earlier in the weekend.

Pole set, now all Piquet has to do is translate the P1 start to a race win. "I have been racing in Europe for a couple of years representing my country, Brazil but now it is great to be able to do it officially," he said. "This is not Piquet driving, it is Brazil."

Top ten
1. Brazil
2. New Zealand
3. France
4. Australia
5. Great Britain
6. Switzerland
7. Mexico
8. Pakistan
9. Malaysia
10. Japan

 

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