AP: Sepang round three qualifying notes

Sugden and Hammam on Pole for Round 3 In a repeat of qualifying for the opening round of the 2007 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia last month, Tim Sugden, British sportscar ace and points-leader going in to Round 3, took pole position today for Class...

Sugden and Hammam on Pole for Round 3

In a repeat of qualifying for the opening round of the 2007 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia last month, Tim Sugden, British sportscar ace and points-leader going in to Round 3, took pole position today for Class A, while Malaysia's Tunku Hamman clocked the fastest lap in Class B, taking his second pole this season.

Second quickest in the Class A category was series newcomer Christian Jones of Australia. However, Sugden was surprised to have gone quickest saying: "I'm struggling. I'm not quite sure why we're on pole as the car never felt right. It was so good yesterday and I'm worried we don't have a good balance for the race."

Another concern is SCC Racing's Jones who, despite only competing in his second Porsche event ever, was just 0.154 seconds off Sugden's quickest lap. Last month the GruppeM racer predicted Jones would become more of a threat as the series progressed, but may be surprised the former Asian and Australian Formula 3 Champion has got to grips with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup so quickly. Said Jones: "The practice sessions this week were held in much cooler temperatures, and this session was much hotter so neither of our cars were tuned enough. It was going to be me or him at the front as we've both been so quick this week."

It was a breakthrough session for Hong Kong's Alain Li who was third quickest, the best qualifying result of his Porsche Carrera Cup Asia career so far: "I'm absolutely chuffed," said the racer, who only returned to motor racing at the start of 2005. Li credited his superb performance first and foremost to the assistance of 2004 champion Matthew Marsh. "This is my second year in the 997, so I feel much more comfortable in the car. Matthew has been helping analyze where I can go quicker. Having a former champion, someone who has done this, has been the biggest contributing factor. The more knowledge you have, the more your confidence grows and it just comes from there."

Hammam, who suffered a run of bad luck in the opening rounds after a promising start to his series return, was 8th quickest overall. Second fastest in Class B was Hong Kong's William "Chip" Connor, ahead of championship points leader Peter Boylan of Australia.

Said Hammam: "I'm really happy to be on pole, but I'm hoping for better luck in keeping my place and taking a victory. I've raced on the North Track before, but never in a Porsche. It's much faster (than the full circuit). I'm just hoping all will be well in the race!"

Rounds 3 and 4 will be run tomorrow over 20 laps each of Sepang International Circuit's 2.706km North Track.

-credit: porsche.asia

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About this article
Series Porsche
Drivers Tim Sugden , Peter Boylan , Matthew Marsh , Alain Li