New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

France on pole for SA A1

2006-01-29 08:05

Setting the fastest lap time of the weekend so far, driver Alexandre Premat broke the 1.19 mark for the first time, shortly followed by A1 Team Great Britain's Robbie Kerr who will take second slot on the grid tomorrow afternoon.

After a promising start, A1 Team Czech Republic who recorded the fastest lap time in the first qualifying session, dropped to sixth on the grid, hitting a wall in the second session and breaking the car's suspension component. Two red flags in session four, brought out by A1 Teams USA and Austria delayed the final session with seven teams not putting in a time.

Street race expert who won the 2004 Macau Grand Prix, Alexandre Premat said, "Today was good for me, I love the track, I won Macau, so I don't struggle on this type of circuit. I managed to do two really good times.

"This morning's session in the dry was enough to find a good set up. I had some new tyres in the second session which helped and I didn't need to change the set up at all."

Commenting on the track, Robbie Kerr said, 'It's an interesting track, with a really tight first corner. It will be interesting to see tomorrow if people will be able to go into it 2 by 2 on the first lap.' When asked if the red flag periods interfered with his qualifying, Robbie replied, 'the red flags definitely affected us, it's a shame, but it's just one of those things. I'm really looking forward to the race, we have a good position, but we'll have to see what happens.'

Neel Jani's run on pole position in the last two races came to an end today but the Swiss was not pessimistic. 'The race is a different story, I took the last two poles but didn't win. Qualifying was average; I made a few mistakes on the new tyres but still managed to put in a good time. The wind picked up towards the end of qualifying and the track got a bit slower. But our position isn't too bad for tomorrow.'

Commenting on the best way to avoid an accident at the first corner, Neel said "There isn't much you can do really. You have to take your position before the corner, but it depends what happens around you. The race will be interesting because it is easy to make mistakes. It will be about finishing."

But it wasn't just the on-track action drawing attention at the Durban street circuit. A1 Team Malaysia's car underwent a makeover at lunchtime, leaving the team's garage for Qualifying boasting the logo of their newly signed sponsor, Malaysian automaker, Proton.

  • 1. France: Alexandre Premat - 2.36.841
  • 2. Great Britain: Robbie Kerr - 2.38.079
  • 3. Switzerland: Neel Jani - 2.38.093
  • 4. Netherlands: Jos Verstappen - 2.38.452
  • 5. Ireland: Ralph Firman - 2.38.509
  • 6. Czech Republic: Tomas Enge - 2.38.541
  • 7. New Zealand: Matt Halliday - 2.38.856
  • 8. Brazil: Nelson Piquet Jr - 2.38.876
  • 9. Canada: Sean McIntosh - 2.38.996
  • 10. Malaysia: Alex Yoong - 2.39.197
  • 11. Indonesia: Ananda Mikola - 2.39.240
  • 12. Germany: Timo Scheider - 2.39.325
  • 13. USA: Philip Giebler - 2.39.355
  • 14. Italy: Massimiliano Busnelli - 2.39.419
  • 15. Portugal: Alvaro Parente - 2.39.671
  • 16. South Africa: Stephen Simpson - 2.40.193
  • 17. Australia: Will Davison - 2.40.652
  • 18. Lebanon: Basil Shaaban - 2.41.845
  • 19. Mexico: David Martinez - 2.41.846
  • 20. China: Tengyi Jiang - 2.42.824
  • 21. Austria: Mathias Lauda - 2.42.871
  • 22. India: Armaan Ebrahim - 2.46.880
  • 23. Pakistan: Adam Khan - N/A

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