Although the circumstances surrounding their first ever pole position in A1 Grand Prix are arguably somewhat fortuitous, A1 Team Netherlands driver Jeroen Bleekemolen nonetheless insists they are still quick enough to score a victory around the streets of Beijing.

With the cancellation of qualifying forcing officials to decide the grid using the single practice session results, Bleekemolen's fastest time, set early on in the 30-minute encounter, was good enough to claim the fastest time around the maligned street circuit.

However, with loosening manhole covers forcing a lid to be placed on the rest of the day's proceedings, officials had no choice but to award Bleekemolen and Netherlands pole position.

Nonetheless, while Bleekemolen admitted it was an unconventional method of deciding the grid, he insists they deserve pole regardless having shown strong pace from the outset.

"It went very well," he said. "In the beginning of the session we lost some ten minutes because of our new engine. In total I was not able to drive many laps. But the moment we went out we were fastest straight away.

"I had to go in to have some things checked, we went out again and were immediately fastest again. We are on the pace and the car feels really good on this track.

Furthermore, Bleekemolen is confident of securing his first win in the series and Netherlands' second, especially if the circuit prove to be as hard to overtake on as has already been predicted by the teams.

"With a street race it is an even bigger advantage to be on pole, overtaking is very difficult. We have a good chance of winning, also because we were fast all throughout the session. We are really looking forward to this. Hopefully we will have a good rolling start tomorrow, work from there and see where we end up."

 

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