AP: Round 12 qualifying summary

Al Fardan takes maiden pole. Oita, Japan - Bahrain's Hamed Al Fardan (Team Meritus) took a long-overdue maiden pole position for Round 12 of Formula BMW Asia at Japan's Autopolis Circuit today. Second quickest was fellow countryman and ...

Al Fardan takes maiden pole.

Oita, Japan - Bahrain's Hamed Al Fardan (Team Meritus) took a long-overdue maiden pole position for Round 12 of Formula BMW Asia at Japan's Autopolis Circuit today. Second quickest was fellow countryman and joint championship leader Salman Al Khalifa (Team E-Rain).

Pole man for Round 11, BMW Junior and Rookie Michael Patrizi (AUS/Team Meritus) was third fastest in the second qualifying session of the day, but it was 16-year-old BMW Junior Armaan Ebrahim who really made his mark jumping from sixth to fourth fastest in the dying seconds of the session. Despite the impressive last-minute dash from the hugely talented youngster Ebrahim vowed: "I have more!"

Al Fardan, who qualified third for Round 11, topped the times for most of the session, and responded immediately when Patrizi grabbed provisional pole at one stage. The session was red flagged with five minutes to go when newcomer Hamza Dirani spun off, but it was restarted with little delay. "I tried my best to balance the car to make just one flying lap - and I did it! Come the race tomorrow, I'll be really fighting for this win," said a delighted Al Fardan.

Despite his spin, Hamza still managed to set the tenth fastest time of the session in the first single seater outing of his career.

Al Khalifa was doubly pleased with his grid position after believing a clutch problem would mean starting from the back of the grid. He remarkably overcame the hitch, returning to the track and clocking the second fastest lap of the session.

Rounds 11 and 12 will be run tomorrow (September 4) over 10 laps each of the 4.6km Autopolis Circuit in Japan.

Background:

Formula BMW is the world's leading entry-level class in Formula racing. In 2005 the series will be held in Germany, the UK, Asia and the USA. Up-and- coming drivers as young as 15-years-old are given the opportunity of entering motor racing with the high-tech, standard FB02 race car.

This racing car has been seen on the grid since 2002 and has set standards particularly on the safety technology front. The single-seater is propelled by a 140 bhp BMW engine up to 230km/h and exceeds by far the safety requirements for its class. BMW Motorsport has developed the FORS Formula Rescue Race Seat especially for Formula BMW. The HANS safety system is also mandatory.

In 2005, Formula BMW will be staged five times as part of the Formula One support programme. All the series offer a multifaceted Education and Coaching Programme as well as sponsorship for promising racing talents. The best-known alumni of this talent hothouse are Formula One drivers Ralf Schumacher and Christian Klien.

BMW Motorsport Director, Mario Theissen: "Formula BMW offers talented young drivers more than just a car. In the Education and Coaching Programme we have designed specially for them, they learn everything they need to know to hold their own in the big wide world of motor racing. Formula BMW has shot out of the blocks to become the top entry-level class for Formula racing worldwide."

In December 2005 the Bahrain International Circuit will host the first Formula BMW World Final. Young racing drivers from the four regional Formula BMW series will compete against each other. The winner will get a Formula One test drive.

-bmw.asia-

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Christian Klien , Armaan Ebrahim , Mario Theissen , Michael Patrizi