The first two qualifying sessions of the 2003 Visma Software Formula Palmer Audi Championship have rewarded 21-year-old rookie Adam Smith with a brace of pole positions on Silverstone's National circuit. This morning's qualifying session, to ...
The first two qualifying sessions of the 2003 Visma Software Formula Palmer Audi Championship have rewarded 21-year-old rookie Adam Smith with a brace of pole positions on Silverstone's National circuit. This morning's qualifying session, to determine the grid line-up for Round 2 later today, was another fraught affair with Smith, Stephen Young and Ryan Lewis once again battling for pole position.
Young echoed his performance from yesterday's session for Round 1, with an early lap of 56.984 seconds to claim provisional pole, only to be demoted again by Ryan Lewis in the Building Environmental Services car. Lewis' reign at the top was to be short lived however as Adam Smith steered his FPA car around the 1.6-mile National circuit in 56.545 seconds.
Keeping the front-runners in check were Chris Hyman in third, improving upon his fifth place from yesterday's qualifying run and Howard Spooner, Stephen Young's Vodka Kick team-mate. The most notable performance throughout the session was Terry White in Car No.53 as he held on to sixth fastest time for the majority of the session, just dropping to seventh by the chequered flag. White, competing in his first full season of Formula Palmer Audi, bettered his previous grid position from Round 1 by eight places for Round 2.
With less than five minutes to go Adam Smith bagged his pole-winning lap of 56.184 seconds and try as they might the chasing pack could not better the Northampton based racing instructor's time. Stephen Young came closest as he narrowed the gap between himself and Smith to two tenths of a second, hotly pursued by a charging run from Chris Hyman to claim third on the grid. Ryan Lewis had to settle for fourth place and will have to keep an eye on the third row behind him at the start of the race as Howard Spooner and FPA rookie Jonathan Kennard will be eager to challenge for a podium finish.
Terry White is joined on row four by Porsche 924 Champion Ryan Hooker, who improved his start position by one place compared to Round 1's qualifying session. The top ten is rounded out by 2002 Autumn Trophy Runner-Up Paul Warren in ninth and Karim Ojjeh in tenth. Flu-stricken Ben Lewis soldiered on to finish the session in 13th place, just one spot behind a much improved qualifying performance from Adam Sharpe, the British GT driver choosing to acclimatise himself to single-seaters in the Formula Palmer Audi Championship.
Adam Smith has proved the man to beat in qualifying at Silverstone, with less than a second covering the top twelve runners this morning. The opening two races of the series this afternoon will give the rookie the perfect opportunity to mark himself out as the man to beat before the chequered flag. 21 drivers behind him will be keen to prove otherwise!