AP: Malaysia round 3 qualifying report

Al Khalifa grabs pole in Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Bahrain's Salman Al Khalifa (Team E-Rain) took pole position for round 3 of Formula BMW Asia today in what was a rather lengthy, two-part affair after Armco post covers came loose on ...

Al Khalifa grabs pole in Malaysia.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Bahrain's Salman Al Khalifa (Team E-Rain) took pole position for round 3 of Formula BMW Asia today in what was a rather lengthy, two-part affair after Armco post covers came loose on the shortened 2.8km Sepang International Circuit.

Malaysian series newcomer, 19-year-old Aaron Lim (Minardi Team Asia) made his mark today setting the second quickest time overall and was fastest Rookie in his first ever qualifying session in a single seater car. BMW Junior Robert Boughey (THA/Team Meritus) who won his first race in Bahrain last month, will start from third on the grid.

The times were so close that the top eight drivers were all within one second of each other.

For Lim, it was an encouraging start to a weekend where he will be looking to impress the home crowd and win the support of Malaysia for his promising career. Said Lim: "This was my first outing in any racing car, and it wasn't as easy as it seems. When I came here, I didn't expect to be on the pace but after two days of practice, I knew I had the speed to be at the front. It's a good step forward!"

Lim is the only Malaysian to have earned a CIK International A License allowing him to compete at the very highest level of karting, and Formula BMW Asia is looking like the perfect stepping stone to single seater racing for the youngster.

The qualifying session was stopped after just 14 minutes when a barrier post cover came adrift damaging the cars of Jonathan Chan (HKG/Minardi Team Asia), Chia On (HKG/Ao's Racing Team), and BMW Junior An Sok Wan (KOR/Team E-Rain). The session continued later the same day, but neither Chan nor Chia was able to take part.

Despite the track problems, the shortened version of the track, being used for the first time at Sepang by Formula BMW Asia this weekend, was a welcome challenge to the drivers who all agreed it will make for exciting racing. Said Patrizi: "Just look at those times - they say it all!"

<pre> Round 3 Qualifying. POS NO Driver/Nat Entrant Time 1 7 Salman Rashid AL KHALIFA (BAH) Team E-Rain 01:07.764 2 2 Aaron LIM + (MAS) Minardi Team Asia 01:07.922 3 68 *Robert BOUGHEY (THA) Team Meritus 01:07.953 4 38 Hamed AL FARDAN (BAH) Team Meritus 01:07.986 5 29 *Michael Tony PATRIZI (AUS) Team Meritus 01:08.012 6 88 Charlie-Ro CHARLEZ + (MAS) Team Meritus 01:08.237 7 17 *Armaan EBRAHIM + (IND) Team E-Rain 01:08.305 8 61 *AN Suk-Won + (KOR) Team E-Rain 01:08.415 9 9 *WANG Jian-Wei + (CHN) Ao's Racing Team 01:08.947 10 22 Jonathan CHAN (HKG) Minardi Team Asia 01:09.213 11 4 Dejan de ZOYSA + (SRI) Minardi Team Asia 01:09.277 12 99 #SONG Ge (CHN) Ao's Racing Team 01:09.950 13 58 Mitsunobu ENDO (JPN) Team Meritus 01:09.979 14 20 #CHIA On (HKG) Ao's Racing Team DNQ

*Scholarship driver +Rookie Cup # Non-Series Registered

Pole Position: Salman Al Khalifa (BAH/Team E-Rain) 01:07.764/143.44kph

-bmw.asia-

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers Aaron Lim