PAC: Team Qi Meritus Singapore qualifying report

MERITUS' RIO TO START SECOND ON THE GRID MARINA, BAY, SINGAPORE (SEPT 25, 2009): Questnet Team Qi Meritus driver Rio Haryanto claimed second place in the starting grid for tomorrow's Formula BMW Pacific race despite using only one set of ...

MERITUS' RIO TO START SECOND ON THE GRID

MARINA, BAY, SINGAPORE (SEPT 25, 2009): Questnet Team Qi Meritus driver Rio Haryanto claimed second place in the starting grid for tomorrow's Formula BMW Pacific race despite using only one set of tyres.

The championship leader, who completed an unprecendented clean sweep of winning all four races, taking all four poles and setting the fastest laps in all four races at the Sentul leg of the championship two months ago, could not change into this second set of tyres as Fahmi Ilyas crashed just before he could do so and the red flag came out.

There was a bumper grid full of some of the best international junior racing talent at the Marina Bay Circuit.

Joining the regular line-up for the Singapore rounds were a number of guest drivers. From the sister series in the USA, Formula BMW Americas, newly-crowned champion Gabby Chaves (Colombia), his Eurointernational teammates Giancarlo Vilarinho (Brazil), runner-up in the 2009 Formula BMW Americas, Rookie Cup winner Michael Lewis (Australia and runner-up James Kovacic (Australia) all had a taste of action at the Marina Bay Circuit.Briton Jack Harvey also competed, having recently finished second in the Formula BMW Europe Rookie Cup, seventh in the overall Drivers Classification.

Rio's domination in Sentul saw him rocket to the top of the overall leaderboard with 146 points. His team mate Dustin Sofyan is fifth on 70 points. They have also helped Questnet Team Qi-Meritus to the top of the team championship with 239.5 points. Meritus has won the last six Formula BMW team crowns.

Twelve points adrift of Rio is Rookie Cup leader Gary Thompson, who is on the shortlist for the Irish Young Driver of the Year award.Third in the Drivers Classification is Zimbabwe's Axcil Jefferies, who came away from Indonesia with three podium finishes. Fourth in the standings is Malaysian Fahmi.

Meritus owner, Firhat Mokhzani said: "Rio may only be second but we are proud of him as he has achieved this despite using only one set of tyres. We are confident of a good showing tomorrow."

The Formula BMW Pacific is a support race for the Singapore Formula night race.

-credit: qtqm

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers Michael Lewis , Giancarlo Vilarinho , Jack Harvey , Axcil Jefferies , Rio Haryanto , Gary Thompson , Dustin Sofyan , James Kovacic , Gabby Chaves