A1 Team Great Britain were left disappointed to be starting from fifth on the grid for the first round of the 2006/2007 A1 Grand Prix Championship, particularly as it was expected that Darren Manning would be the man to beat for pole position around Zandvoort.

Originally qualifying in sixth place until Switzerland's demotion for a technical irregularity, Manning managed one of the best times of the day in the third session, but with grid positions decided by aggregate times, he needed his fourth lap to cement pole position.

However, a slight mistake left Manning down into an eventual fifth place, leaving him frustrated to have not been able to translate his undoubted pace around the Dutch circuit into a better starting position. Nonetheless, he remains confident he has race pace.

"The track was getting quicker and quicker and I banged in a good third run. I just clipped the kerb at the chicane on my final run, got sideways, and that messed up the end of what would have been an even better lap. It's a bit disappointing but the main thing is that we're still up there with the front-runners and should be good when we get to go racing tomorrow."

Team principal John Surtees though was equally despondent about the result, having expected at least one his two teams, the other being Team Canada, to be lining up at the front.

"Well sixth place isn't quite what we expected following yesterday's encouraging performance," he admitted prior to Switzerland's penalty.

"Darren's first run on old tyres was impressive and he was ahead of the game in his third run but a little sideways action on his final run cost what could well have been pole position but all it's really done is just give him a little more work to do tomorrow in the race!"



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