AP: Beijing qualifying notes

Abay on pole in Beijing Beijing, China -- Australian Sam Abay (18/Team E-Rain) took pole position for Round 6 of Formula BMW Asia this afternoon, his second of the season so far, with a scorching lap of 1:05.202 around the 2.3km Goldenport ...

Abay on pole in Beijing

Beijing, China -- Australian Sam Abay (18/Team E-Rain) took pole position for Round 6 of Formula BMW Asia this afternoon, his second of the season so far, with a scorching lap of 1:05.202 around the 2.3km Goldenport Circuit in China's Capital Beijing.

The BMW Juniors fared well: Kiwi Dominic Storey (16/Eurasia Motorsport) was second fastest at the end of the 30 minute session, with James Grunwell (THA/Team Meritus) third followed by Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Eurasia Motorsport). However, it was far from a one-horse race, with all four Juniors, including Aaron Lim (MAS/Eurasia Motorsport), setting provisional pole at some stage during the session.

The drivers were unanimous in their regret that Earl Bamber (NZL/Team Meritus), who won the last three races in commanding fashion but who suffered an electronic problem on his first lap out and was stranded out on the circuit, was unable to enter the fray. Said Abay: "I was sad that Earl wasn't in the session so we couldn't have a real competition this time. But I was really determined to take pole. The circuit requires a lot of thinking, but I think we'll have a great race."

Storey was delighted with his time, the best in his Formula BMW Asia career to date, and has really found his feet on this technical and demanding track: "I managed to get a clear lap and was P1 for quite a lot of the session. The circuit reminds me a bit of karting tracks in New Zealand. Of course, it's different in a car, and definitely far more demanding, both physically and mentally."

Grunwell was a little disappointed to be third fastest but was nevertheless enjoying the track: "It's a lot more fun (than Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit). The walls are closer and it's a lot more exciting."

Bamber will start from the back of the grid for the 20-lap race this afternoon, but is far from despondent, aiming for a "zero to hero" scenario: "I've started a junior single seater race from 13th before, and I came through to win, so I hope to repeat that!"

Five of the drivers all clocked times within one minute six seconds, with just Lim a fraction outside the top times.

-bmw.asia-

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers Daniel Ricciardo , Aaron Lim , Sam Abay , Earl Bamber , Dominic Storey