O'Young on Pole in Quest for Fourth Guia Circuit Victory
Defending Macau GT Cup winner Darryl O'Young of Hong Kong earned pole position for the second straight year today, with a lap of 2:27.387 in his Porsche Cup S. Close behind was Japan's Keita Sawa (third in 2008), whose Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 was just 0.167 seconds off O'Young's pace. Third fastest in the 30-minute qualifying session was 2008 runner-up Briton Danny Watts, driving a Porsche 997 GT3 Cup, while Dilantha Malagamuwa of Sri Lanka will join Watts on the second row, also in a Porsche 997 GT3 Cup.
With yesterday's free practice being moved to this morning, the 32 drivers were anxious to get out on track. For O'Young, however, the practice session began poorly with mechanical problems on the first lap, and he was unable to continue.
Said O'Young: "I was worried because this is a track where you need to get warmed up and used to the circuit. But I'm lucky that I know this circuit so well that I didn't have to build up and I could just go out there and put a time down."
Sawa was happy to be starting on the front row, but was disappointed that mistakes at the Melco Hairpin prevented him from going one better: "On my quickest laps, the first and second sectors were good, but in the third, at the exit of the Melco Hairpin, I kept making mistakes. I was confident in getting pole position and now I am looking forward to the fight with Darryl, especially as we have made some changes and the Gallardo is faster this year than last."
Racing on his favourite circuit, Watts was thrilled to be back at Macau, but admitted that he couldn't have caught O'Young and Sawa: "I could get no more time on the car," he said. "I was right on the edge and so I think it's a third place finish unless the two guys ahead of me make a mistake. There's no way I can make up the time."