ABAY ON TOP FORM AT SPA Australian youngster Sam Abay was on top form on his first visit to the majestic Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. Set amongst the picturesque Ardennes forest, Spa's sweeping 7.004 km layout is famed as the...
ABAY ON TOP FORM AT SPA
Australian youngster Sam Abay was on top form on his first visit to the majestic Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. Set amongst the picturesque Ardennes forest, Spa's sweeping 7.004 km layout is famed as the ultimate challenge for the modern day racing driver and Abay was immediately quick recording the 4th fastest time in the final practice on Friday as he familarised himself with the circuit.
"It's obviously a longer and more challenging layout than the other circuit's we visit and unfortunately, as a first timer you don't get a lot of laps in practice to learn all the nuances of the track, but we're looking strong going into qualifying and the track is just fantastic." said Abay.
As qualifying got underway for race one on Thursday afternoon, the Carlin drivers were the last to exit the pit lane, with 10 minutes of the 30 minute session already gone. Abay wasted no time once he hit the track, jumping straight to provisional pole on his first lap. As drivers traded positions in the remaining 15 minutes, Abay would go on to claim the 4th qualifying position.
Qualifying for race two took place Friday morning and once again the Carlin drivers remained in the pits for the first 10 minutes of the session. Abay was the first Carlin driver to emerge, the rookie's first flying lap placing him second on the timing screens. Within the space of the next few laps the Carlin drivers traded provisional pole position, with Brendon Hartley taking his turn at the front, followed by Abay and then Oliver Turvey.
A yellow flag at the end of the session put a halt to any further improvements, Abay securing 3rd position on the grid behind Oliver Turvey and Fortec's Marcus Ericsson.
"The track was quite different from yesterday. The grip level was different and I think the drop in temperature probably helped. It was a bit unfortunate that there was a yellow flag, as I felt that we could have gone quicker and that a front row start was certainly on the cards." said the Australian.
Team principal Trevor Carlin added "Sam deserves particular praise. He's never raced or tested here before, and has come along and qualified in the top four for both races."