Magny Cours: Racing Engineering qualifying report

Sarrazin most consistent in Magny Cours Saturday's qualifying sessions of round three of the 2003 World Series by Nissan have one more time been characterized by changing weather conditions. The first session started on a dry track and ...

Sarrazin most consistent in Magny Cours

Saturday's qualifying sessions of round three of the 2003 World Series by Nissan have one more time been characterized by changing weather conditions. The first session started on a dry track and finished under rain saw Stephane Sarrazin in an excellent third position and Bas Leinders in sixth place. In the second qualifying session Racing Engineering's cars left on rain tyres and came in eight minutes before the session stopped to put slicks. Stephane again gained the third position on tomorrow's starting grid, whereas his teammate Bas reported problems with the engine and finished fourteenth.

Qualifying 1:

Qualifications for tomorrow's first race started on a dry track and saw Racing Engineering's drivers in top positions throughout the entire session. Both, Stephane and Bas have been running consistent fast laps and have only been stopped by two red flag sessions due to incidents involving Rocha and Pereira. Sadly this occurred when Stephane marked sector times better than the ones in his so far fastest lap (1'28.345). Three minutes before the end of the qualifying rain set in and both Racing Engineering drivers decided to retire as a time improvement was impossible in the wet and decided to not take any unnecessary risk. Stephane starts into the first race from position three. Bas' fastest lap time was 1'28.821 and he therefore will start into the race from position six.

Qualifying 2:

The second qualifying started on a wet track with rain tyres and was very quickly interrupted by another red flag signal due to Villaamil going off the track. At the restart of the session Stephane immediately made his way up to the top again and the drying up track caused permanent time improvements and position changes on the top. Nevertheless Stephane could always be found under the top four. Eight minutes before the end Stephane came in to put slicks and underlined his consistency on the Magny Cours track and finished the qualifying third with only two fast laps on dry tyres.

Bas on the other hand faced a rather difficult second session as he reported a lack of performance form the engine, a problem that occurred already on Friday. Bas could not show all his potential and has to go into tomorrow's second race from fourteenth position.

At the end of Saturday's qualifying sessions Stephane announced, "In the first session we had a red flag twice and therefore only finished third. But the car is very fast and I am very confident for tomorrow. In the second qualifying we started with rain tyres and I stopped a little bit too late due to a problem with the radio. One more lap and I would have been on pole position. Nevertheless it was the same for everyone and it was a rather funny session."

Bas understandably disappointed said, "With a proper engine I would have been on front row. Hopefully we can change the engine for tomorrow."

Alfonso de Orleans stated, "Once again due to a Spanish Formula 3 race on the same weekend I won't be able to attend the race, but I have to say that both drivers have done a fantastic job. This year we have a really good bunch of drivers. I know that the people of AER are really doing the best to sort out Bas' engine problem and am therefore very confident for tomorrow's races."

-re-

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Stéphane Sarrazin
Teams Racing Engineering