AP: Sepang qualifying notes

Bamber blitzes qualifying to take pole. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- Fifteen-year-old Rookie Earl Bamber (NZL/Team Meritus) was in dominant form in qualifying for Round 3 of Formula BMW Asia at Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit today, taking...

Bamber blitzes qualifying to take pole.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- Fifteen-year-old Rookie Earl Bamber (NZL/Team Meritus) was in dominant form in qualifying for Round 3 of Formula BMW Asia at Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit today, taking pole position for the first time this season. The Kiwi topped the times for the entire 30-minute session. Second quickest was team mate and BMW Junior James Grunwell of Thailand, followed by Sam Abay (AUS/Team E-Rain).

Second fastest BMW Junior was Dominic Storey, 5th quickest, followed by Eurasia Motorsport team mate and local hero Aaron Lim of Malaysia.

Said Bamber: "We were pretty confident we wouldn't get knocked off the first row, but James (Grunwell) got close. I predict James is going to be very close tomorrow. It's awesome to be on pole, though!" Bamber is also confident of his chances even if it is a wet race, which could be on the cards in tropical Malaysia. "I've spent weeks racing in the wet in New Zealand, so I've had loads of practice."

Zahir Ali (Eurasia Motorsport) of Indonesia put in a good performance with his best grid position so far, while BMW Junior Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Eurasia Motorsport) struggled with over steer.

With local hopes resting on his shoulders, Lim was struggling throughout the session and was disappointed with his times, setting the 6th fastest lap.

The session dictates the grid positions for Round 3, with the results from that race setting the start line-up for Round 4. However, in a change to the regulations this season, the grid for the third race of the weekend will be decided by the aggregate results from the previous two races, with the best performer over the two rounds taking pole.

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers Daniel Ricciardo , Aaron Lim , Zahir Ali , James Grunwell , Sam Abay , Earl Bamber , Dominic Storey