EU 2000: Qualifying notes

Double pole for Kobayashi! Kamui Kobayashi (Prema Power Team) was looking for his first pole position of the season here at Donington and ended up taking two. In the dry and in the wet, the Japanese driver put in an irreproachable performance to...

Double pole for Kobayashi!

Kamui Kobayashi (Prema Power Team) was looking for his first pole position of the season here at Donington and ended up taking two. In the dry and in the wet, the Japanese driver put in an irreproachable performance to take pole position in both races. Both times, he will line up alongside Ben Hanley (Cram Competition), who makes his Donington Park debut in style! Michael Ammermocller (Jenzer Motorsport) and Yann Clairay (SG Formula) meanwhile put in mediocre performances.

Session 1

While it was the Pons Racing drivers who dominated the opening minutes of the session, it was left to Benjamin Hanley (Cram Competition) to set the time to beat in 1'30''779. Despite being a Brit, this is Ben's first ever drive at Donington Park! After starting out in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, Ben has already received some deserved recognition for winning three of the last five races of the Italian Championship ahead of the likes of Kobayashi, Ammermocller and some other big names. Yann Clairay and Carlo Van Dam did their best to knock Ben off the top, but he responded well to the pressure with another fastest time of 1'30''224. Kasper Andersen (Team Formula Sport) put in a superb performance to slip into second ahead of Clairay.

Things were much more hotly contested in group B with Kamui Kobayashi (Prema Power Team), Michael Ammermocller (Jenzer Motorsport), Filipe Albuquerque (Motopark Oschersleben) and Adrian Zaugg (Jenzer Motorsport) all taking it in turns to set the best time. But it was Kobayashi who had the final word: "I am very pleased to have taken my first pole of the season, especially on an unfamiliar circuit!" Kobayashi put in a lap in 1'29''609 to go 6/10ths faster than Hanley and take pole position. With Ammermocller and Zaugg taking the places behind Kobayashi, the first three rows of the grid are shaping up for an explosive start!J Session 2

The new day brought a radical change in the weather. The group B drivers were the first to take to the track. Kamui Kobayashi reigned supreme in the wet: with five minutes left, the Japanese driver went faster than Ammermocller by one and half seconds! Michael Aleshin, who has never looked so good in the Eurocup as now, then took provisional pole before ending up in a spectacular 3600x00b0 spin! Daniel Serra (Cram Competition) followed the Lukoil Racing Team driver's example a few seconds later. Kobayashi then regained control of proceedings, while Alan Hellmeister (JD Motorsport) set the third best time. Pippa Mann (Comtec Racing) put in an impressive performance on home territory by taking a spot on the fourth row! It was a poor showing from Michael Ammermocller who could do no better than 7th.

Once again, Ben Hanley showed that he is a talent to look out for by going straight to the top of the timing screens when the group A drivers took to the track. The young British driver was however knocked off the top by Junior Strous just four minutes from the close. While the Dutchman continues to race for Mr. Glow Motorsport, he has now joined forces with AR Motorsport. And it was strength in numbers! But with a lap in 1'48''838, Strous was still some way off Kobayashi's pole. Hanley regained the upper hand less than a minute from the chequered flag but was also unable to improve on the Japanese driver's time. Kasper Andersen put in a fine performance for the 3rd best time. He was followed by Xavier Maasen and Yann Clairay, who were way below par in qualifying this time round.

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Series Formula Renault
Teams Jenzer Motorsport