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Spa: Fairuz Fauzy qualifying report

BRILLIANT PODIUM FOR FAIRUZ FAUZY AT SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS Spa, Belgium -- August 18, 2007. After starting from a superb pole position, Malaysian Fairuz Fauzy followed up his front-row start with a fantastic second place finish at the ...

BRILLIANT PODIUM FOR FAIRUZ FAUZY AT SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS

Spa, Belgium -- August 18, 2007. After starting from a superb pole position, Malaysian Fairuz Fauzy followed up his front-row start with a fantastic second place finish at the Spa-Francorchamps round of World Series by Renault 3.5.

Fairuz led away at the green light and avoided the mayhem that ensued behind him, as Miguel Molina launched over the back of Alvaro Barba at the first corner, La Source. Fairuz built up a commanding lead in his Cram Competition machine before he was overtaken by Tech 1 driver Alvaro Parente, under braking for the Bus Stop chicane, at the end of the sixth lap.

"I made a really clean start and built up a five second gap after just three laps," said Fairuz. "But I couldn't hold Parente back because he started with a new set of tyres and was much faster in the slow speed corners and had superior traction. I had to give away the lead into the Bus Stop chicane but decided to try and pass him back in the pitstops."

Fairuz made his mandatory pit stop for fresh rubber on lap seven and resumed in seventh position, but as the other cars pitted, he found himself in third place, running behind Parente and Clivio Piccione. He spent the majority of the race, just a couple of seconds behind the Monegasque and four seconds behind the race leader.

On the final lap -- as at the Hungaroring -- the 24-year-old came under increasing pressure for the final podium slot from Britain's Ben Hanley who closed the gap down on the Malaysian. On the final tour Hanley closed on the Kemmel straight, but Fairuz fended off the Brit as the pair entered Les Combes.

Then approaching the final corner second-placed Piccione suddenly slowed with engine problems and Fairuz couldn't believe his luck as he inherited second place just before the chequered flag. He was delighted with his result at the daunting Spa-Francorchamps circuit. "It was a really tough race, but I'm quite happy to get another podium finish as it's important to be consistent, but it'll be lovely to finish first," said Fairuz. He starts Sunday's race ninth, with the reverse grid rule.

-credit: mofaz

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