Team Brazil endured a disappointing start to the new A1GP campaign in Holland this weekend, after a promising free practice came to nought when it really mattered.

Tuka Rocha qualified down in 16th position in the 23-car field at Zandvoort, 11 places down on the strong fifth place in which he had finished morning practice.

Starting the first qualifying segment on old tyres, the Euroseries 3000 star - who stood in for Team Brazil last year in place of regular drivers Nelson Piquet Jnr and Christian Fittipaldi - set his first flying lap with a time of 1min 31.998secs, improving to 1min 29.045secs on his second run, what would turn out to be his best effort.

Unfortunately, a slower lap in the final session left the 23-year-old down on row eight of the grid for Sunday's sprint race, some way short of pre-season expectations.

"This is definitely not the kind of result we were expecting or are capable of," Rocha admitted after qualifying. "The car felt a bit better than in practice and our lap times did improve, but we still have some hard work to do before tomorrow on the set-up.

"The first set of new tyres was quite good, there was more grip than I expected and the car felt easy to drive. But on the second set, there wasn't as much grip and I had understeer.

"I was pushing so hard that I ended up making a couple of mistakes. Tomorrow I will just have to make a good start and try to drive a good race."

 

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