A1 Grand Prix: Drivers nominated for Sydney qualifying !

 – Words and pics: A1GP
Eastern Creek, Australia – A1 Team Australia has solved its set up problems of yesterday, making good headway towards a strong home performance in the last official practice session for the A1GP Sydney, Australia. The team moved up from twelfth place on the timing sheet yesterday to sixth place this morning, despite an earlier hiccup when refuelling which saw the nozzle burst and driver, Karl Reindler sprayed with fuel.A1 Team Germany took over from New Zealand at the top of the time sheets with Great Britain slotting into second place ahead of New Zealand. A1 Team Great Britain were delighted with this result having made suspension changes over night which seemed to do the trick, giving them the biggest jump up the time sheets from 13th place yesterday afternoon to second today.

The same could not be said for Italy and Malaysia as they dropped down to 20th and 21st respectively. A1 Team Malaysia’s driver, Alex Yoong, was very frustrated saying that the car seemed to have the wrong set up for the track. On top of this, the master switch failed and the electronics cut out.

With the A1GP engines having reached the 250,000 kilometre mark this weekend after 18 months of racing, many of the teams are changing them. New Zealand was due to change their engine at the end of this race meeting but in fact changed it over night. Canada also has a new engine this weekend, but installed it before the start of yesterday’s practice sessions. The life of an A1GP engine is 3,500km, so the teams make this change once a year – usually mid-season.

The teams now have to decide on their final set up before qualifying for the Sprint race begins at 14.15 this afternoon. Qualifying consists of four 15 minute sessions with a five minute break between each. Only one driver per A1 Team is allowed to take part in Qualifying and that driver must have completed at least three timed laps in an Official Practice session. Each driver is limited to three laps – effectively one “flying lap” – per session and must record at least two times, an aggregate of which will determine that A1 Team’s position on the grid for Sunday’s Sprint race. The grid for the Feature race will be determined by the outcome of the Sprint race.

Official Practice Session 3 (11.00 – 12.00)

  A1 Team Driver Time Laps
1 Germany Nico Hulkenberg 1.21.080 19
2 Great Britain Robbie Kerr 1.21.284 23
3 New Zealand Jonny Reid 1.21.293 23
4 France Loic Duval 1.21.343 22
5 Mexico Salvador Duran 1.21.480 24
6 Australia Karl Reindler 1.21.590 25
7 South Africa Alan van der Merwe 1.21.593 25
8 Switzerland Sebastien Buemi 1.21.706 23
9 Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen 1.21.764 22
10 Singapore Christian Murchison 1.21.892 25
11 USA Phil Giebler 1.21.895 23
12 Canada James Hinchcliffe 1.22.023 22
13 Czech Republic Tomas Enge 1.22.069 21
14 Brazil Tuka Rocha 1.22.116 18
15 Ireland Richard Lyons 1.22.153 22
16 India Parthiva Sureshwaren 1.22.162 23
17 Lebanon Alex Khateeb 1.22.206 21
18 China Ho-Pin Tung 1.22.249 27
19 Indonesia Ananda Mikola 1.22.413 24
20 Italy Enrico Toccacelo 1.22.899 21
21 Malaysia Alex Yoong 1.23.061 14
22 Pakistan Nur Ali 1.23.756 18

Nominated drivers for Qualifying – A1GP Sydney, Australia

A1 Team Driver
Australia Karl Reindler
Brazil Tuka Rocha
Canada James Hinchcliffe
China Ho-Pin Tung
Czech Republic Tomas Enge
France Loic Duval
Germany Nico Hulkenberg
Great Britain Robbie Kerr
India Parthiva Sureshwaren
Indonesia Ananda Mikola
Ireland Richard Lyons
Italy Enrico Toccacelo
Lebanon Alex Khateeb
Malaysia Alex Yoong
Mexico Salvador Duran
Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
New Zealand Jonny Reid
Pakistan Nur Ali
Singapore Christian Murchison
South Africa Alan van der Werwe
Switzerland Sebastien Buemi
USA Phil Giebler

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