The four session qualifying for the A1 Grand Prix in Dubai proved to be a tension-filled affair, and one where Neel Jani for Team Switzerland came through with pole position. But all eyes were on Team France as it looked like they might not start from the front.

The first of the four fifteen minute qualifying sessions saw Salvador Duran for Team Mexico have an off, with throttle-induced oversteer on the slippery, sandy surface meaning the reigning British F3 National class champion went backwards into the wall. The red flag was brought out, meaning that only the completed laps from the USA, Australia, India and Lebanon were set.

The second session saw the runners who had set times in session one go to the top of the order through virtue of having two times to aggregate. With the two laps added together, the USA led Australia, India and Lebanon. The fastest of the single lappers, meanwhile, was Switzerland with Neel Jani. Next up were Brazil and Great Britain. France, however, with Nicolas Lapierre in action made a mistake on his lap and took to the pits rather than complete a time, leaving it all to do in the final two sessions.

The third session saw France out early, and the fastest lap so far in qualifying, but the Frenchman would have all pressure on him for the final session as a mistake or a porr lap there with prove his undoing. The track was clearly improving and Britain's Robbie Kerr set a quick time shortly after Lappierre's to go fastest of the aggregate runners. Kerr had actually been out on track before the red came ou in the first session, so would certainly have been pleased to get two quick times after loosing the opportunity to set his first, yet still making some use of his tyres as he was out on track.

The fast times would come late in the penultimate session, with Switzerland putting in the fastest time at that point in qualifying late in the fifteen minutes to go fastest on aggregate, whilst Brazil was another squad to put in a late time to pip Britain to second spot.

The final session saw all attention on France, and Lapierre proved equal to the tension as he went out and set a lap which placed him then second on the aggregate times, and that position was not to be bettered, although Ralph Firman would run Lapierre close and go to third in the aggregate standings.

Top times - aggregate top two times after four sessions
1. Switzerland 3min 31.918secs
2. France 3min 32.551secs
3. Ireland 3min 32.626secs
4. Brazil 3min 32.627secs
5. Great Britain 3min 32.634secs
6. Germany 3min 33.105secs
7. Czech Republic 3min 33.307secs
8. Malaysia 3min 33.320secs
9. Canada 3min 33.841secs
10. Portugal 3min 34.118secs

Top times - first session
1. USA 1min secs
2. Australia 1min secs
3. India 1min secs
4. Lebanon 1min secsRed flag meant no other times set in session

Top aggregate times - second session
1. USA 3min 35.845secs
2. Australia 3min 37.461secs
3. India 3min 38.084secs
4. Lebanon 3min 49.337secs
5. Switzerland 1min 46.383secs
6. Brazil 1min 46.514secs
7. Great Britain 1min 46.964secs
8. Ireland 1min 47.047secs
9. Germany 3min 47.112secs
10. Canada 3min 47.530secsOnly top four teams have aggregate times as no others set time in first session

Top aggregate times - third session
1. Switzerland 3min 32.375secs
2. Brazil 3min 32.627secs
3. Great Britain 3min 33.165secs
4. Ireland 3min 33.506secs
5. Germany 3min 33.601secs
6. Czech Republic 3min 34.069secs
7. Canada 3min 34.359secs
8. Italy 3min 34.876secs
9. Malaysia 3min 34.886secs
10. Japan 3min 35.140secs

 

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