AP: Sepang rounds 3, 4 qualifying notes

Lin and You Top Times in Wet Qualifying Session Hanss Lin Po-Heng of Belgravia Motorsports and You Kyoung-Ouk of BMW Korea E-Rain overcame a wet track and spinning cars to top the qualifying times today at Malaysia's Sepang International ...

Lin and You Top Times in Wet Qualifying Session

Hanss Lin Po-Heng of Belgravia Motorsports and You Kyoung-Ouk of BMW Korea E-Rain overcame a wet track and spinning cars to top the qualifying times today at Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit, taking a pole apiece for tomorrow's Rounds 3 and 4 of Formula BMW Asia. The event is a support race for the Japan GT Championship's Malaysian round.

One qualifying session was held with the quickest times setting the grid for Round 3, and the second fastest lap for each driver deciding the start order for Round 4.

The slippery surface was the key factor during the session, with many of the drivers spinning going into the corners on the wide Sepang track, forcing other drivers to slow down to avoid collision.

Said 24-year-old Lin: "I am very pleased with the work the team has done on the car. The car is ready and I am ready! Honestly though, I believe that I could have performed better if not for the rain."

"This is the first time I have race in the rain, and I had to be very careful because of it. Because there were too many cars that spun, it was risky to push. After clocking that best time, I realised I did not have much time left to push for another quick lap," he said.

You also had the same conditions to contend with: "It was tough driving in the rain," he said, adding that the team mechanics had changed the set up of the car just before qualifying.

"I focussed on doing my best. I could have done better if there was less congestion," said young South Korean, also 24.

It was a disappointing performance by championship leader Marchy Lee Ying-Kin of Team Meritus as he struggled with the conditions. Nevertheless, he remained upbeat about his chances in tomorrow's races.

"I must say that I am disappointed. We had problems with the car setting and the rain made it even more difficult, though there were moments that I could push," said Marchy, who will start from 5th and 3rd on the grid for Rounds 3 and 4 respectively.

Despite the setback, Marchy declared he is ready for tomorrow's races and confident of repeating his double victory in Bahrain.

Racing in front of the home fans, Nik Iruwan Nik Izani of Team Meritus, also driving in the wet for the first time at Sepang, fell victim to the track conditions during the 30-minute qualifying session.

"Obviously I need time to adapt to the car, but I would like to thank the local fans for their support. They were great!" said the Malaysian youngster, adding that it was an honour for him to compete on Malaysian soil.

"I hope all of them will be here again tomorrow. Look for Nik Iruwan!" he said.

Both races will be run over 10 laps of the 5.54km circuit tomorrow with Round 3 scheduled at 11am and Round 4 starting at 3pm.

The ultra-modern Formula BMW which allows 15-year-olds to enter the world of motor racing has been lining up on the grid since the 2002 season. It sets standards above all on the safety technology front. The single-seater, driven by a 140 bhp BMW motorcycle engine that takes it up to 230 km/h, features a carbon-fibre chassis, fulfils the safety requirements of the much higher-performance Formula 3 cars, and even matches certain Formula One standards.

Formula BMW Asia, now in its second season, runs as part of the Asian Festival of Speed (AFOS) organised by Motorsport Asia Limited. This year the series is run over 14 rounds at seven venues in Bahrain, Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, China and Japan. It will culminate in a second Formula One Grand Prix support race at Shanghai in September.

In 2004, Formula BMW will be staged in four different series held in Germany, the UK, Asia and the USA. Formula BMW events will be part of the Formula One support programme on five occasions around the world. All the series go hand-in-hand with a comprehensive education and coaching programme, as well as substantial financial backing for promising young talent. The most distinguished graduate of this "talent hothouse" is Ralf Schumacher. The star of the BMW WilliamsF1 Team made his racing debut in the junior class in 1992.

BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen: "Our junior talent promotion scheme is an intensive basic education for successful kart drivers who want to move up into Formula racing. Our priorities are to create a level playing field through technically identical vehicles and scrupulously defined regulations, and to ensure maximum safety."

<pre> Round 3 Qualifying Results

POS No Driver/Nat                       Entrant                 Time
1.  88 Hanss LIN Po-Heng (TPE)          Belgravia Motorsports   2:35:593
2.  61 Kyoung-Ouk YOU (KOR)             BMW Korea E-Rain        2:35.871
3.  23 Hamed AL FARDAN (BRN)            Belgravia Motorsports   2:36.593
4.  24 Mehdi BENANI (MAR)               Team Meritus            2:37.019
5.  38 Marchy LEE Ying-Kin (HKG)        Team Meritus            2:37.462
6.  21 Sh Salman ALKHALIFA (BRN)        Belgravia Motosports    2:38.095
7.  22 Mohamma AL BAHRANA (BRN)         Belgravia Motorsports   2:38.101
8.   3 Tyson SY (PHI)                   Minardi Team Asia       2:38.143
9.   5 Moreno SOEPRAPTO (INA)           Minardi Team Asia       2:38.703
10.  8 CHIN Tzer Jinn (MAS)             Team Meritus            2:38.788
11.  4 Robert T BOUGHEY (THA)           Minardi Team Asia       2:40.156
12. 77 KUO Chia-Ming (TPE)              Team Meritus            2:41.496
13. 20 Tohru JITSUKAWA JPN)             Autosport with Arto     2:42.503
14.  2 Dado PENA (PHI)                  Minardi Team Asia       2:42.541
15.  6 Han HAN (CHN)                    Team E-Rain             2:42.732
16. 11 Nik Iruwan NIK IZANI (MAS)       Team Meritus            2:44.046
17. 19 Maekkasit WERAPORASU (THA)       Autosport with Arto     2:44.103
18. 12 Gabrielle B. Dela MERCED (PHI)   Team TEC Pilipinas      2:54.745

Round 4 Qualifying Results

POS No Driver/Nat                        Entrant                Time
1.  61 Kyoung-Ouk YOU (KOR)              BMW Korea E-Rain       2:36.449
2.  23 Hamed AL FARDAN (BRN)             Belgravia Motorsports  2:37.180
3.  38 Marchy LEE Ying-Kin (HKG)         Team Meritus           2:37.840
4.  24 Mehdi BENANI (MAR)                Team Meritus           2:37.854
5.  88 Hanss LIN Po-Heng (TPE)           Belgravia Motorsports  2:38.118
6.   3 Tyson SY (PHI)                    Minardi Team Asia      2:38.266
7.  22 Mohama Al BAHRANA (BRN)           Belgravia Motorsport   2:38.376
8.  21 Sh Salman ALKHALIFA (BRN)         Belgravia Motorsport   2:38.432
9.   5 Moreno SOEPRAPTO (INA)            Minardi Team Asia      2:39.422
10.  4 Robert T BOUGHEY (THA)            Minardi Team Asia      2:40.267
11.  8 CHIN Tzer Jinn (MAS)              Team Meritus           2:41.203
12. 77 KUO Chia-Ming (TPE)               Team Meritus           2:42.366
13.  2 Dado PENA (PHI)                   Minardi Team Asia      2:42.647
14.  6 Han HAN (CHN)                     Team E-Rain            2:43.721
15. 20 Tohru JITSUKAWA (JPN)             Autosport with Arto    2:45.680
16. 19 Maekkasit WERAPORASU (THA)        Autosport with Arto    2:46.042
17. 11 Nik Iruwan NIK IZANI (MAS)        Team Meritus           2:49.456
18. 12 Gabrielle B. Dela MERCED (PHI)    Team TEC Pilipinas     2:59.129

-fbmw.asia-

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Mario Theissen , Marchy Lee , Lin Po-Heng
Teams Williams