PAC: Rounds 5,6 Sepang qualifying report

Brilliant McDonagh puts Team E-Rain on pole - twice. Sepang, Malaysia -- Sean McDonagh (18/USA) made sure his maiden Formula BMW Pacific pole position was something to remember by setting the first and the second fastest times in today's 30...

Brilliant McDonagh puts Team E-Rain on pole - twice.

Sepang, Malaysia -- Sean McDonagh (18/USA) made sure his maiden Formula BMW Pacific pole position was something to remember by setting the first and the second fastest times in today's 30 minute qualifying session. With the fastest time of the session deciding the grid for the first race, to be run this afternoon, and each drivers' second-best time setting the starting position for the first of tomorrow's two 20-lap races, the American will be on pole position for both Rounds 5 and 6.

Immediately after completing his fastest lap, and taking his first ever pole position in the process, McDonagh finished his session in the gravel. He was completely unaware he was on pole until he returned to the pits: "I had no idea - I thought the team were joking! It didn't feel like a particularly fast lap, and I'm sure there's a bit more time in the car."

Team mate Ryuichi Nara (19) of Japan will start alongside McDonagh for both races, a plus for the American. Says McDonagh: "I think we'll go through turns one and two together. It's always good to have a team mate behind you, and we've kept anyone else off the front row. I hope Ryuichi can have a better race today and catch up in the points." Nara has suffered more than his fair share of ill-luck so far this season, but his fortunes could well be about to change.

Points-leader and 2007 Formula BMW Junior driver Ross Jamison of Hong Kong (18/Meritus) topped the timing sheets for much of the session, but the Team E-Rain pair put in a tremendous effort in the closing minutes of the session to better his time.

Jamison will start Rounds 5 and 6 from the second row of the grid, alongside guest driver Kazeem Manzur (16/GBR/Mahara) for Round 5, and the quickest Formula BMW Junior driver, Chris Wootton of Australia (19/Meritus) for Round 6. So close were the margins, that just five thousandths of a second separated the second-fastest times of Wootton, Manzur and Moh.

Round 3 pole-sitter and runner-up Melvin Moh (19/Team Holzer PFX) was the fastest Malaysian, and will start from 5th and 6th on the grid for each race respectively.

Formula BMW Junior Simon Moss (RSA/16/Mahara) was forced to sit out qualifying after a crack was discovered in the monocoque of his FB02. His team are working to ensure he will be able to start Round 5 later this afternoon. If able to start it will be from the back of the grid and the South African, who led the championship coming to Malaysia, will have his work cut out to work his way through the ultra-competitive field.

Round 5 will be run over 20 laps of the 2.27km North Track of the Sepang International Circuit, with Rounds 6 and 7 to follow tomorrow (Sunday).

-credit: fbmw pac

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers Ross Jamison , Sean McDonagh , Melvin Moh , Kazeem Manzur , Simon Moss , Chris Wootton , Ryuichi Nara