There was much head scratching at the WSR-run Team New Zealand in the A1 Grand Prix of Nations at Eastern Creek after the squad with Jonny Reid at the wheel qualified in fourteenth place for Sunday's Sprint race.

'Black Beauty' driver Jonny Reid fell progressively off the pace after a strong opening to the weekend's racing at Eastern Creek, Sydney to qualify fourteenth, one place behind the Aussies.

Reid, who was fifth and sixth fastest in Friday's two practice sessions, dropped a few spots to ninth fastest in Saturday morning's third and final practice session.

He was a superb third after the first of the four qualifying segments, but slipped down the table to eighth, ninth and finally fourteenth when his top two times were added together. It is the third time in as many rounds that New Zealand has qualified in that position.

The 22-year-old Reid was distraught with his final position and was at a loss to explain why he couldn't keep pace as other teams improved around him.

"I'm disappointed because this is practically a home circuit, I know it well and yet we're out there looking mediocre," Reid said.

A1 Team.NZL chief executive Bob McMurray said the team is doing a wealth of head scratching because they just don't believe Reid is a second a lap slower than the frontrunners at one of his favourite circuits.

"We've got a problem," McMurray said, "and we're going to work extremely hard tonight to find out what it is."

Reid says it will be difficult for him to repeat his performance in Germany two rounds ago when he shot to fourth in the opening Sprint race after qualifying fourteenth.

"It's a narrow little circuit so it's going to be tough to make up that sort of ground without plenty of carnage ahead of me," he said. "But I'll certainly be giving it everything I've got because I'm thriving on the encouragement I'm getting here.

"I have lots of family and good close friends in the crowd, plus there's lots of Kiwi fans waving flags and showing their support. I want to do well for their sake as much as anything."



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