PAC: Series Singapore qualifying report

Nasr on pole in Singapore. Marina Bay, Singapore -- Felipe Nasr (BRA/17/ Eurointernational) earned pole for both Rounds 11&12 of Formula BMW Pacific, which are being held in support of the 2009 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix this weekend...

Nasr on pole in Singapore.

Marina Bay, Singapore -- Felipe Nasr (BRA/17/ Eurointernational) earned pole for both Rounds 11&12 of Formula BMW Pacific, which are being held in support of the 2009 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix this weekend on the 5.067km Marina Bay street circuit.

Alongside Nasr on the grid for Round 11 is Rio Haryanto (INA/16/Questnet Qi Team Meritus), who currently leads the Drivers Classification and is gunning for a sixth consecutive Formula BMW Pacific win. Third fastest in Qualifying was Rookie Cup leader Gary Thompson (IRL/17/E-Rain Racing).

With the drivers' second-fastest times determining the grid for Round 12, guest driver Nasr is once again on pole for the second race, while his Eurointernational team mate Michael Lewis (USA/18) will join him on the front row. Malaysian Fahmi Ilyas (17/E-Rain Racing) clocked the third fastest time for Round 12.

Formula BMW Pacific Junior Axcil Jefferies (ZIM/15/Eurasia Motorsport) set the fourth-fastest time overall in the session, and in Sunday's Round 12 will start from sixth position.

Earlier this month, Nasr was crowned the 2009 Formula BMW Europe champion in Monza, and the Brazilian has evidently carried that momentum over to Singapore, his first experience in Asia.

After setting the pace in the Qualifying Session from the start, Nasr was then able to better his own best time by 1.8 seconds, his best lap 1.756 seconds faster than Haryanto.

With ten minutes left in the session, Haryanto set his best time, vaulting to the top of the time sheets. However, in the closing minutes, Nasr set a scorching lap.

The session was red-flagged with less than a minute of the session remaining after Ilyas, who had been running near the top of the times, hit the barriers.

Nasr and Lewis are one of several non-series registered drivers joining Formula BMW Pacific this weekend. Singapore's Suriya Bala Kerisnan Thevar (15/Asia Racing Team) made his single-seater debut on his home circuit and spent the session familiarising himself with the FB02, and learning the stunning Marina Bay street circuit.

Dominic Ang (MAS/20/Team Holzer PFX) matched his best qualifying result of the season and will start Round 11 from fifth on the grid.

Formula BMW Junior Chris Wootton (AUS/20/Eurasia Motorsport) will start from 11th position in Round 11, while fellow Junior Steel Guiliana (AUS/17/Atlantic Racing Team) qualified 15th.

Dustin Sofyan (INA/15/Questnet Team Qi-Meritus) was unable to participate in the Qualifying Session after damaging his car in a racing incident during Free Practice. However, he will start both races this weekend.

Round 11 Qualifying Drivers' Quotes:

1st Felipe Nasr: "Beating my time by 1.7 seconds, it's something I have never done before. It's my first time in Asia and it's amazing to race here. I expected to do a great job here, but also the drivers are very good (in this series), but it is amazing to come to Asia for the first time and take pole position. After I won Formula BMW Europe, the team [Eurointernational] asked me to come and race here, and so far the team and I have done a great job."

2nd Rio Haryanto: "The track was getting better (than in practice). We were the first cars out on the circuit earlier, so it was really dusty. I was a bit unlucky on my second set of tyres with the red flag, so I couldn't get the best use out of them. But I'm quite happy with the result, although I think my second best lap time wasn't good. I was with the Formula BMW Europe drivers in Monza recently, and I was at the back so I'm quite surprised to be up with them here. I hope to be on the podium after both races this weekend."

3rd Gary Thompson: "I really struggled at the start of the session, making quite a few mistakes and then I became a bit too cautious. After I pitted for new tyres, which I don't think a lot of other drivers did, and then my next lap out I made some pretty strong improvements. My last lap was a really good lap for me, but unfortunately the red flag came out and I couldn't do any better. I feel like we can get a good result in the first race [on Saturday] and that I can go quicker than I did in qualifying."

Top Formula BMW Pacific Junior, Axcil Jefferies: "When I was out on track, I thought I was much further down the order as I didn't really get the chance to put a good lap together. This is my first time on a street circuit, so it's quite a challenge. When I first went out, I wasn't scared, but then I had a big moment on my third lap. There difference is that on normal (purpose-built) circuits you can push 98%, but here it's only 95%. It's a bit scary, bit I think we've all got a bit more in us."

Suriya Bala Kerisnan Thevar (SIN): "I'm not pushing myself too much as I'm still learning the track. It's my home track, and to be on the same circuit the F1 drivers are competing on is really special. This is very different to what I've done before, and my first time on a street circuit. I'm still looking for the correct lines."

-credit: fbmw pac

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Michael Lewis , Dominic Ang , Chris Wootton , Axcil Jefferies , Fahmi Ilyas , Rio Haryanto , Gary Thompson , Steel Guiliana , Dustin Sofyan , Felipe Nasr