ATCC: Sepang qualifying round one report

Marsh sets pole for Ford The 2003 season of the Asian Festival Of Speed kicked off with GR Asia driver Matthew Marsh setting the fastest time in Division 1 to qualify on pole position for the Round 1 of the region's leading "tin top" event.

Marsh sets pole for Ford

The 2003 season of the Asian Festival Of Speed kicked off with GR Asia driver Matthew Marsh setting the fastest time in Division 1 to qualify on pole position for the Round 1 of the region's leading "tin top" event. The opening two rounds of the Asian Touring Car Series (ATCS), will be held at the Sepang International Circuit tomorrow (June 8).

Marsh, in his first outing in the Ford Focus, set the fastest time of 2:30.323, narrowly edging out Ao Chi Hong of Macau who clocked 2:30.699.

'I'm relieved", said Marsh. "Frankly, I feel that with the team I have, the quality of the Ford Focus and the consistency in performance of the BFGoodrich tires, anything less than pole position would have been unacceptable."

"Ao Chi Hong and his Honda Integra are clearly formidable foes. Let's see how we compare over a full 10 lap race," he continued.

Gary Sham of Hong Kong, who is also competing in the Formula BMW Asia Series, starts in third position, while Marsh's team-mate Nick Thomas, who previously raced in the Asian Formula 2000 series, completed a good day for the GR Asia pair of Ford Focus machines.

In Division 2, Malaysian Mohd Fariqe set the quickest time in his Team Petronas Honda Civic, with Hong Kong's Danny Stacy Chau second in the division. Malaysians Tony Teo Kai Chai and Mashlino Buang qualified third and fourth in Division 2.

<pre> QUALIFYING ROUND 1 1. No. 33 Div 1 Matthew MARSH (UK) 02:30.323 2. No. 23 Div 1 AO Chi Hong (MAC) 02:30.699 3. No. 16 Div 1 Gary SHAM (HKG) 02:31.714 4. No. 42 Div 1 Nick THOMAS (NZL) 02:32.016 5. No. 77 Div 1 LO Ka Chun (HKG) 02:32.466 6. No. 15 Div 2 Mohd FARIQE (MAL)* 02.32.786 7. No. 66 Div 1 LO Hung Pui (HKG) 02:33.702 8. No. 45 Div 2 Danny Stacy CHAU 02:34.124 9. No. 12 Div 2 Tony TEO Kai Chai (MAS) 02:34.514 10. No. 20 Div 2 Mashlino BUANG (MAS)* 02:34.860 11. No. 99 Div 2 LO Ka Fai (HKG) 02:35.729 12. No. 11 Div 1 Phillip YAU (HKG) 02:36.000 13. No. 29 Div 1 Kirakiat YENMANO J (THA) 02:36.572 14. No. 22 Div 2 Junichi KOIZUMI (JPN) 02:37.352

* Rookie

-mal-

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Series General
Drivers Matthew Marsh , Ao Chi Hong