August 9, 2003 (Toronto, Canada): Canadian Formula 3 racer Billy Asaro has qualified to race in the Marlboro Masters at Zandvoort, Holland. He will grid nineteenth when 35 cars line up for the thirteenth annual race tomorrow afternoon.
Two qualifying sessions were held today to reduce the field from 53 entries to 35 race participants and Asaro was absolutely thrilled to make the cut. With top drivers from all of the European Formula 3 championships on hand, the competition was the toughest Asaro had ever faced and he rose to the task performing admirably on a circuit he had never seen before.
"It feels great to have made the field," said the 21-year-old from Unionville, Ontario. "I'm starting the race from a decent spot on the grid and I'm expecting to make good progress during the race."
Asaro became progressively faster as he gained experience on the challenging Zandvoort circuit and set his best time during the second qualifying session. He is confident of being even faster tomorrow after making some set-up changes to the car that were finished too late to try in qualifying today.
"The car is excellent," Asaro reported of the machine being fielded by Menu F3 Motorsport. "I have a good car under me, thanks to the Menu team, and I can't wait for the race."
The Marlboro Masters is a huge affair. The race draws 100,000 spectators to see top Formula 3 teams and drivers from across Europe.
Tomorrow's track activities begin with a warm up session at 9:30am. The race is scheduled to start at 2:00pm.