AP: Sepang qualifying notes

Championship Leader Grabs Pole in Malaysia Tomo Racing's Shinichi Yamaji of Japan grabbed pole for the start of Round 3 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia at Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit today, with a blistering lap of 2:11.360. Team...

Championship Leader Grabs Pole in Malaysia

Tomo Racing's Shinichi Yamaji of Japan grabbed pole for the start of Round 3 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia at Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit today, with a blistering lap of 2:11.360. Team Jebsen's Darryl O'Young of Hong Kong, currently second on the leaderboard just two points behind Yamaji, was second fastest in the 30-minute session, followed by Keita Sawa of Cref Motorsports.

Said Yamaji, who had been unwell and suffered severe dehydration during Friday's practice and yet still managed to take pole: "I expect to feel much better tomorrow and I'll be watching out for Darryl and Sawa as I don't want any incidents with them. If I'm not quick, everyone would be disappointed."

O'Young set his fastest time on his first flying lap out but was unable to better it despite putting on new tyres during the session: "I didn't get the perfect lap first time. We put the second set (of tyres) on, but then hit traffic. I didn't even finish that lap, but just came in. It's better to save the tyres for the race. At least we're on the front row and I predict a good race tomorrow."

Matthew Marsh, Champion in 2004 and this weekend celebrating the third anniversary of his very first drive with GR Asia, was fourth fastest.

The Thai duo of Charoensukhawatana Nattavude and protege Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak, racing for the Chinese outfit SCC Racing, were cool, calm and confident after the session, which saw them set the fifth and seventh quickest times respectively.

In Class B, series newcomer Geoff Morgan of Australia made a sensational debut, grabbing pole for his first ever Porsche Carrera Cup Asia race. Said Morgan, who set a time of 2:15.243 to take the top spot: "It was a bit slippery out there, but I thought Max (Chen) and the others had done one minute, 14 second laps, which we should have done as well. I made a few mistakes trying too hard, like a typical Australian. But I'm very pleased. I'm loving it -- the circuit, the organisation, the camaraderie, everything's just fantastic. Hopefully the races will be the same."

Japan's Dr. Toshihide Hashimura took provisional pole early on and held it for most of the session, before being pipped to the post by the newcomer.

Another newcomer, Ricardo Proost preparing for his second series outing, is quickly finding his feet despite still playing with the brake bias to get it completely right: "We're close with the brakes, but not 100% yet. Right now though, I can control the car completely. Coming from rallying, it's important that I can feel the car and control the car when it slides. I'm pleased with the set up and I'm learning the handling. We've been dropping time all weekend, so we're doing something right!"

Class B ace Max Chen of Taiwan had a disappointing session, but can be a comfortable bet to be at the front of the Class B runners tomorrow: "I went out on old tyres, but hit traffic. I put the new tyres on, but when I went out again it was pretty wet on the far side of the circuit, so I couldn't get a quick lap and missed out!"

Alain Li was unable to clock a time after spinning and then suffering technical problems. However, the talented Hong Kong driver, making his Class A debut this season, will no doubt be planning a spectacular charge through the field in tomorrow's race.

Supporting the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia are two of the most recognised names in international motorsport, Mobil1 and Michelin. Mobil and Porsche have been partners since 1996. Close co-operation in research and development has led to every new Porsche engine being filled with Mobil1 high-performance lubricant. Porsche Carrera Cup Asia drivers also have the advantage of racing on cutting-edge tyres supplied by series partner Michelin. The consistent performance and leading technology of Michelin tyres constantly improve the performance of many teams in international motorsport. The partnership between Michelin and the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia has emerged from a worldwide agreement signed between Porsche AG and the Michelin group.

-porsche.asia-

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About this article
Series Porsche
Drivers Shinichi Yamaji , Keita Sawa , Geoff Morgan , Darryl O'Young , Charoensukhawatana Nattavude , Matthew Marsh , Alain Li