Best ever team qualifying for first ever night race in Doha The unusual Doha night scenery at Losail track brought My QI-Meritus.Mahara a strong qualifying with Marco Bonanomi in 12th (1.37.228) and Alvaro Parente in 13th (1.37.409). The two...
Best ever team qualifying for first ever night race in Doha
The unusual Doha night scenery at Losail track brought My QI-Meritus.Mahara a strong qualifying with Marco Bonanomi in 12th (1.37.228) and Alvaro Parente in 13th (1.37.409).
The two My QI-Meritus.Mahara were amongst the first of the 26 cars to take to the track flooded with lights at precisely 6pm on the first night of the fourth round of the GP2 Asia series which started on Thursday evening.
My Qi-Meritus.Mahara's two drivers Portuguese Alvaro Parente(car 19) and Italian Marco Bonanomi (car 18) started the routine preparation for the 180 kil race 1(34 laps) on Friday and 120 kil long race 2 (23 laps) on Saturday.
During the first practice session, they respectively finished in second position for the Italian with 1.40.873 and eighteenth position for the Portuguese who was running top five during the session with 1.41.594 .
After an interesting session, the two drivers who had been top ten during the session finished 12th and 13th after a red flag disrupted their strong pace.
Alvaro Parente commented, "The free practice session was an interesting first contact with the track before the challenge of qualifying with these cool temperatures at night. Visibility was a bit hazy because of the sand winds that have been blowing over the country for two days now. I covered nine laps in the first run and the tires grained. I went wide in my last fast lap and that ruined the second part of the session. The track was very sandy even if the sweepers had cleaned it all day. We were doing a very good job with my new team and I adapted quickly. When qualifying started, I was P2 after six laps with a time of 1.37.700. Then I clocked P6. We changed more details on the set-up on lap 9, seven minutes before the end, but unfortunately we did not expect a red flag three minutes before the end, and this stopped our efforts."
Marco Bonanomi commented, "My first run in the free practice session gave me a feel of the track to learn the curves. I was not so much after a time but wanted to find the limits of the car. In the second run of the session I felt there was improvement for the second part of the session and I finished with 1.39.012 in second place. The set-up of the car is good and there was more grip than I expected. It was very exciting. In qualifying, I started with clocking an 8th place in mid-session, with 1.37.799 but I needed to improve and then after the red flag there was too much traffic. I will be very competitive in the race."
Peter Thompson: "Alvaro Parente did a good job for his first ever qualifying with the team. If Marco Bonanomi's set up remains as it is, he will have a fine race. Just too bad that the red flag interrupted the pace of the session behind Huelkenberg."