Saturday's qualifying sessions of the eighth round of the 2003 Superfund World Series by Nissan taking place this weekend at the Valencia Circuit, brought promising results for Sunday's two races. The first qualifying session saw Bas Leinders in first position and his Racing Engineering team-mate Stephane Sarrazin, in third place. Bas finished the second qualifying in fourth position and Stephane in fifth place. Racing Engineering regards this race weekend as crucial since the team championship is not yet decided.
Like most other drivers, Racing Engineering's Bas Leinders and Stephane Sarrazin joined the qualifying session after ten minutes. Immediately it was obvious that Stephane, as well as Bas had found the right setups for their cars and would be the ones to watch out for. It was in his sixth lap out, when Stephane marked a lap time of 1'23.363 that pushed him up into first position. He remained there until Bas, ten minutes from the end of the session lapped the fastest time. Bas' qualifying lap of 1'23.317 round the 4.005 km circuit presents him with the perfect opportunity to push for victory in Sunday's first race. Stephane will start the race from third position.
The second qualifying session was unlucky due to the fact that there was a risk of rain that forced Racing Engineering's drivers to go out on the track earlier than planned. Unfortunately, this wasn't the correct choice since rain did not set in. It was at the end of the session, when the track cooled down that the fastest times were set. Bas and Stephane, leaving the pits on new tyres were soon at the very top of the classification. But the performance of their tyres soon decreased and they were not able to improve on their times as the others bettered theirs because of improving track conditions. Bas therefore goes into race two from fourth position and Stephane from fifth.
After the two qualifying sessions Bas Leinders commented, "I am very pleased to be on pole position again like in Austria. This is very important for the team championship and for me as I am fighting for second place in the drivers championship. But I am fighting against my teammate here. In the first qualifying everyone is very close, which shows the high level of this championship with good drivers. In the second qualifying I just went out too early with new tyres, but I am happy to be in second row."
Stephane Sarrazin announced, "The first qualifying was very close and I could have actually made a better time, but on my fastest lap I had to overtake Kovalainen. The car is very fast and I am happy. I am confident that we have a good car for tomorrow. My goal is not only the second place in the drivers championship, but also the team championship. We will see tomorrow, but I am very optimistic."
Alfonso de Orleans added, "As usual, the drivers did a wonderful job, and it shows. Pity about the second qualifying, but I think both should do well tomorrow."