PAC: Series Sentul qualifying report

Haryanto on pole in Indonesia. Sentul, Indonesia -- Rio Haryanto (16/Questnet Team Qi-Meritus) earned pole for the Formula BMW Pacific Rounds 7 and 8, at the young Indonesian driver's home circuit at Sentul International Circuit, earning his ...

Haryanto on pole in Indonesia.

Sentul, Indonesia -- Rio Haryanto (16/Questnet Team Qi-Meritus) earned pole for the Formula BMW Pacific Rounds 7 and 8, at the young Indonesian driver's home circuit at Sentul International Circuit, earning his first pole positions of the season. Fahmi Ilyas (MAS/17/E-Rain Racing) will join Haryanto on the first row for Round 7, while Formula BMW Junior Axcil Jefferies (ZIM/15/Eurasia Motorsport) had the third fastest time in the session.

With the drivers' second-fastest times in Saturday's 30-minute qualifying session determining the starting grid for Round 8, Haryanto and Ilyas will again form the first row, with Jefferies having qualified third fastest. Drivers Classification and Rookie Cup leader Gary Thompson (IRL/17/E-Rain Racing) qualified fourth for both Rounds 7 and 8.

The session was particularly competitive, with many of the drivers continually bettering each other's times. As track conditions improved, so did the drivers' times -- and it was especially thrilling for Haryanto, who along with compatriot and teammate Dustin Sofyan (15) are competing at their home circuit.

For many of the drivers, this weekend is their first experience driving on the 3.960 km circuit. The top seven drivers were all within a second of each other. With less than five minutes to go in the session, Jefferies moved up into P1, only to then be out-done by Haryanto. Formula BMW Junior Steel Guiliana (AUS/18/Atlantic Racing Team) qualified his way into seventh position for both Rounds 7 and 8 in the waning moments of the session and on his 16th lap. It is Guiliana's highest starting position of the year. Fellow Formula BMW Juniors Chris Wotton (AUS/20/Eurasia Motorsport) qualified fifth for both Rounds 7 and 8.

With the drivers so close to one another, on-track excitement is all but guaranteed. Rounds 7 through 10 of the 2009 Formula BMW Pacific season are being held as part of the Asian Festival of Speed.

Rounds 7 and 8 Drivers' Quotes:

1st Rio Haryanto: "It's my first pole of the season and I'm delighted to have achieved this. My team did a good job and everything was working together well. It will be fantastic if we have a great weekend of racing since this is my home circuit and I obviously want to do well. I just need to concentrate on the job and not make any mistakes because it is easy to do so on this track."

2nd Fahmi Ilyas: "I'm quite pleased, but also disappointed because I could have gained pole position. There was only one tenth of a second in it and I should have done better. But having said that, my car was great and my team did a tremendous job because whatever I wanted from the car, I got it. Sentul is a good circuit and there are very long straights and learning the track is not so difficult. I'm happy to be racing here."

3rd Axcil Jefferies: "The track seems to be riding faster than yesterday. We have never driven here before and it's a bit challenging. It's a bit slippery on Turn One but the rest of the track, it's really flowing and I really like the chicanes. The goal is to be as consistent as possible and to get some good points for the race. We have a good car and I'm sure we are capable of pulling off a win."

-credit: bmw

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers Axcil Jefferies , Fahmi Ilyas , Rio Haryanto , Steel Guiliana , Dustin Sofyan