Short of juggling whilst setting the fastest lap, there wasn't much more that France could have done to put the other squads' noses out of place in the A1 GP in Dubai, as Nicolas Lapierre went out late in the first hour long practice session and set the fastest lap in a mere three laps of running.

Whilst about half the field in Dubai were out on track, Lapierre was happy standing in the paddock chatting to journalists, clearly unconcerned that any of the other teams or drivers would worry him or the DAMS-run squad, and also happy that all the time spent off track meant that tyres were being conserved for the vital qualifying sessions and racing on Sunday.

When he did go out and completed his three laps, Lapierre was fastest by some three tenths.

Next up on the timing screens at the end of the session was Tomas Enge in the Czech entry, the former Formula 3000 champion (before being stripped of his title because of failing a drug test), also completing a mere three laps' running.

Italy, with Enrico Toccacelo on driving duties, set the third fastest time in the session, but completed some eleven laps on track, whilst Ireland went fourth fastest, also with eleven laps.

The first of the 'proper' practice sessions, as opposed to the additional two twenty minute sessions run earlier in the day, saw two of the regular drivers return to their cars after Team Great Britain and Team New Zealand had Katherine Legge and Scott Dixon respectively in their cars.

Matt Halliday took to the track for the first time in the session in the New Zealand car to go twelfth fastest whilst Robbie Kerr could only manage the nineteenth fastest time, with much of the early part of the session spent with the Arden squad that run the GBR entry hard at work on the car.

Top times
1. France 1min 46.734secs
2. Czech Republic 1min 47.072secs
3. Italy 1min 47.271secs
4. Ireland 1min 47.348secs
5. Switzerland 1min 47.377secs
6. Germany 1min 47.546secs
7. Brazil 1min 47.552secs
8. Netherlands 1min 47.817secs
9. Portugal 1min 47.884secs
10. Japan 1min 47.988 secs



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