From concept to reality, A1 Grand Prix finally hit the track at Brands Hatch with Brazil drawing first blood by securing a the inaugural pole position during qualification for the opening sprint race on Sunday.

Armed with GP2 front runner Nelson Piquet Jr, Brazil secured a comfortable pole position once the two aggregate times from four sessions were taken into account, leading New Zealand in second by four tenths, while France and Australia completed the second row.

In a qualification format consisting of four separate sessions where the two best times from just two of the slots determine the grid positions, Piquet did not compete in the fourth and final session but his speed earlier in the day was enough to ensure he goes down in history as the first ever A1 GP pole sitter.

Having won the British Formula Three Championship at the same circuit just last year, Piquet was understandably delighted to go in the history books. "It is a weight off our back because I think we had the capacity to do it - I am really happy," Piquet told Radio. "I just want to continue with the weekend and take two wins."

Already making a name for himself in the Formula One feeder series, GP2, Piquet secured his debut win the series two weeks ago in Belgium, so his successful opening appearance in A1 GP will certainly do the Brazilian's reputation no harm.

Looking ahead to Sunday's race, Piquet is determined to make the most of his prime starting position, even if he knows the perils of starting on the tight Brands Hatch circuit. "Tomorrow will be difficult for me as I have never started with this car and starts are never easy. But I have won three races out of four here so I am quite confident. I don't think anything will go wrong and we are going to win the race."



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