The inclement conditions currently sweeping California saw all 22 A1 teams battling cold - and even snowy - conditions as they attempted to find the perfect qualifying set-up for Laguna Seca.

Their task was made all the harder when further heavy storms, and the arrival of snow, overnight forced race officials to cancel the first of the two planned practice sessions - which had already been carried over from Friday - while the run-off areas dried out. Fortunately for all involved, the event's third session went ahead as planned, and even ran smoothly, with only a few minor incidents and no red flags.

Champion-elect France eventually topped the times, with Nicolas Lapierre coming out fractionally quicker than the ever-improving South African Stephen Simpson. The rainbow nation car was equally just ahead of Robbie Kerr's Team GB entry, as the top three all squeezed into the 1min 16secs bracket.

Team Switzerland, the only nation that can prevent France claiming the series title this weekend, will be among those still working on its set-up in the time before qualifying, after finishing 21st on the timesheet with series newcomer Giorgio Mondini.

Other expected frontrunners trailing included the Netherlands, which managed 19th in the hands of Jos Verstappen, Malaysia and Brazil, all of whom will be looking for a good result on Sunday as they stand the best chance of depriving Team GB of third place in the end-of-year standings. However, with eleven teams still in with a chance of claiming third place, this weekend's two races will be hotly-contested, with New Zealand - ninth in final practice - currently showing the best form outside of Kerr.



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