After setting the fastest time in the first practice session and then the second fastest in the second at the Parque Fundidora circuit in Mexico, Team New Zealand's Matt Halliday hoped for rather better than thirteenth in qualifying for the A1 Grand Prix.

Halliday had been right at the front of times in Friday's wet running, but Saturday was a rude shock with only the 18th fastest time in the practice session, held in dry conditions, and then a thirteenth place qualification once the aggegate times had been added from qualifying.

"We made changes throughout qualifying that made the car more competitive," explained A1 GP Team NZL manager, Mike Ewan. "Matt's fastest times in qualifying were in the last two of his four runs, so we're definitely heading in the right direction with our set-up. It was just too little, too late."

Halliday agreed that there was plenty of time to be found on set-up. "We found more than a second in our final run, so I'm sure we'll be in good shape pace-wise," Halliday said. "It's just a shame we didn't find the right formula earlier because it's made my job a little bit harder being in the middle of the pack.

"It'll be a case of finding the balance between going flat-out and trying to stay out of trouble. The lack of grip makes the track a bit treacherous and I think there's going to be some carnage on race day."



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