The already much disrupted third round of the A1 Grand Prix around the streets of Beijing took yet another devastating blow when problems with manhole covers meant qualifying for the race had to be canned.

Having already been forced to curtail any running on the first day of competition following issues with the layout of the circuit, the teams did manage to get out on track for free practice when the excessively tight hairpin that was causing all the problems was moved further up the long back straight to give a slightly wider exit.

However, since then there have been problems with the manhole covers which are beginning to become dislodged as the cars drive over them.

Citing safety as a priority, the problem has forced stewards to cut short the day's on-track action meaning there will be no qualifying session ahead of the race, a drama that is set to leave officials scratching their head for a way to decide the grid.

One proposal is to decide the grid according to the practice session results, something that would leave Jeroen Bleekemolen on pole position for Team Netherlands, alongside Mexico's Salvador Duran, while the returning Enrico Toccacelo and James Hinchcliffe for Italy and Canada respectively would fill row two.

Alternatively grid positions could be decided according to the championship order, something that would see Germany's Nico Hulkenberg, lead from Duran and Alex Yoong for Malaysia.



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