Team Switzerland secured pole position for the fifth round of the A1GP World Cup of motorsport after Neel Jani managed to put in his two quick laps before rain started to fall at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.

After the opening 15 minute segment of qualifying had been dry, heavy black clouds led to a train of cars waiting to leave the pitlane as the second 15 minutes began - with rain starting to fall soon afterwards.

However with part of the circuit suddenly becoming wet, Jani set the best aggregate time of 3min 48.962secs to take pole by almost a second ahead of Alex Premat in the championship leading Team France car with the GP2 regular just managing to get his second lap in before conditions worsened.

"It was very difficult on track today as there was rain on some corners and not on others," Jani said afterwards. "I thought I would have been able to go faster in the second session but there was drizzle in some parts of the track. It is very difficult to make a tyre choice in those conditions.

"It is very difficult to read the weather here and it could start to rain in the race, but we did get the chance to try a dry set-up in the damp conditions to see how the car reacts."

Prior knowledge of the Sepang circuit from his time spent competing in Asia allowed Ralph Firman to take third for Team Ireland, with Robbie Kerr alongside him on row two for Team GB, with New Zealand and the Netherlands on row three, the Dutch team losing out after electing not to use fresh tyres for the opening segment of qualifying.

"I've had a really good weekend," Firman said after taking his place on the second row. "We were very strong, and although we didn't have the best lap in the first session we had a good lap in the second session. It's hard to tell
what will happen tomorrow as we don't know what the weather conditions will be.

"It is a wide circuit and there will be good overtaking possibilities. For those that look after the tyres through the race there will be chances to overtake near the end. Being in the top three is good and we have a great opportunity and chance of winning a race tomorrow."

Canada, Lebanon and Australia proved to be the biggest losers in the session, with the latter two teams failing to set a time in the second qualifying segment after going off track. It meant Khalil Beschir and Will Davison were forced to rely on a time set in the two wet qualifying sessions to count towards their qualifying times - putting them nearly 30 seconds off the pace of the pole sitter.

 

Comments

Loading Comments...