Wootton on pole in Malaysian Qualifying

Wootton on pole in Malaysian Qualifying

30.05.2009: Formula BMW Junior Chris Wootton (AUS/20/Eurasia Motorsport) scored his first pole positions of the 2009 Formula BMW Pacific season today after qualifying with the two fastest times for both Rounds 3 and 4. Team mate Axcil

Formula BMW Pacific Rounds 3 and 4 Qualifying.



Formula BMW Junior Chris Wootton (AUS/20/Eurasia Motorsport) scored his first pole positions of the 2009 Formula BMW Pacific season today after qualifying with the two fastest times for both Rounds 3 and 4.  Team mate Axcil Jefferies (ZIM/15) will join him on the first row of the grid for Round 3 today, while Gary Thompson (IRL/16/ E-Rain Racing) qualified third fastest for Round 3.  Jefferies and Thompson will switch positions for the start of Round 4.

The overall qualifying times for the top three drivers were all within a tenth of a second, with Wootton and Jefferies separated by just four-hundredths of a second.

In Round 3, current Drivers’ Classification leader Thompson will be joined on the second row of the grid by Akhil Khushlani (IND/19/E-Rain Racing). Formula BMW Junior Steel Guiliana (17/Atlantic Racing Team) will look to further improve upon his lap times after making significant strides on Thursday’s Official Test and after his first races here in Sepang during April’s first two rounds.

The drivers’ fastest time in the 30-minute qualifying session sets the grid for Round 3, while their second-fastest time determines the grid for Round 4.

Wootton said his success was due to a small change in the set up, which not only worked, but made all the difference:  “It’s fantastic,” he said. “In practice I was running fifth and Gary has been going strong in all of the sessions.  Our improvement was big and it’s excellent for the whole team.”

Wootton, now in his second season of Formula BMW Pacific, said that having a closely competitive team mate contributed to the team’s success:  “The last three (practice) sessions, Axcil has been within a tenth of my time,” Wootton said.  “I’ve been pretty lucky to have had the upper hand in those sessions, but it’s a great help for us to be able to push each other and look at each other’s data to understand where we can both improve.”

Thompson fell short of earning a third consecutive pole position as the Irish driver set his best time early in the session and was unable to better it.

In the early minutes of the session, Thompson first set the lap to beat and then continued to better his time.  Fahmi Ilyas (MAS/17/Team E-Rain Racing) also had a strong start to the session, closely following Thompson. Ilyas qualified fifth for Round 3 and fourth for Round 4. 

Having run into some problems early in the session, Team Holzer PFX driver Dominic Ang (MAS/19) moved up to eighth place.  With just four minutes to go, Indonesia’s Rio Haryanto (16/Meritus) moved up to fourth in the time sheet.  However, Khushlani and Ilyas quickly reclaimed their positions and Haryanto will start from sixth in Round 3.

“The qualifying went okay, not the best,” Guiliana said. “My team put on a new set of tyres this morning for our final practice session and I learned a lot from that.  Hopefully I can keep improving for the races.”

Thompson also admitted disappointment after his dominant start to the season:  “I made a mistake on my best lap and really never got it together,” he said. “I didn’t put a string of strong laps together and maybe I was a bit over-confident as our practice times had been so strong.”

Rounds 3 and 4 will be run this afternoon at the 5.543km Sepang International Circuit. Today and Sunday’s four races are part of the Asian Festival of Speed.

Round 3 Qualifying.


1 11 Chris WOOTTON* (AUS) Eurasia Motorsport 2:10.353
 
2 22 Axcil JEFFERIES•* (ZIM) Eurasia Motorsport 2:10.398
 
3 7 Gary THOMPSON• (IRL) E-Rain Racing 2:10.437
 
4 49 Akhil KHUSHLANI (IND) E-Rain Racing 2:10.679
 
5 17 Fahmi ILYAS• (MAS) E-Rain Racing 2:10.700
 
6 88 Rio HARYANTO (INA) Questnet Team Qi-Meritus 2:10.734
 
7 3 Calvin WONG• (MAS) Team Holzer PFX 2:11.165
 
8 2 Dominic ANG (MAS) Team Holzer PFX 2:11.993
 
9 16 CAO Hong Wei (CHN) Ao’s Racing Team 2:12.044
 
10 38 Dustin SOFYAN • (INA) Questnet Team Qi-Meritus 2:12.371
 
11 4 Muhamad Alif JAFRI• (MAS) Team Holzer PFX 2:12.709
 
12 27 Fahad ALGOSAIBI (KSA)• E-Rain Racing 2:12.896
 
13 8 Steel GUILIANA*• (AUS) Atlantic Racing Team 2:12.912
 
14 10 Antonio Martinez# (ESP) Eurasia Motorsport 2:13.701
 

Round 4 Qualifying.



1 11 Chris WOOTTON* (AUS) Eurasia Motorsport 2:10.452
 
2 7 Gary THOMPSON• (IRL) E-Rain Racing 2:10.534
 
3 22 Axcil JEFFERIES•* (ZIM) Eurasia Motorsport 2:10.576
 
4 17 Fahmi ILYAS• (MAS) E-Rain Racing 2:10.745
 
5 88 Rio HARYANTO (INA) Questnet Team Qi-Meritus 2:11.009
 
6 49 Akhil KHUSHLANI (IND) E-Rain Racing 2:11.070
 
7 3 Calvin WONG• (MAS) Team Holzer PFX 2:11.541
 
8 2 Dominic ANG (MAS) Team Holzer PFX 2:12.079
 
9 16 CAO Hong Wei (CHN) Ao’s Racing Team 2:12.287
 
10 38 Dustin SOFYAN • (INA) Questnet Team Qi-Meritus 2:12.427
 
11 4 Muhamad Alif JAFRI• (MAS) Team Holzer PFX 2:12.921
 
12 8 Steel GUILIANA*• (AUS) Atlantic Racing Team 2:12.987
 
13 27 Fahad ALGOSAIBI (KSA)• E-Rain Racing 2:13.069
 
14 10 Antonio Martinez# (ESP) Eurasia Motorsport
 
*Scholarship driver
•Rookie Cup
#Non-Series Registered


Provisional Championship Points Tables after Round 2.

Drivers

1.Gary Thompson (IRL/E-Rain Racing) 28 points; 2. Chris Wootton (AUS/Eurasia Motorsport) 22.5 points; 3. Rio Haryanto (INA/Questnet Team Qi-Meritus) 22 points; 4. Calvin Wong (MAS/Team Holzer PFX) 11 points; 5. Axcil Jefferies (ZIM/Eurasia Motorsport) 10 points; 6. Dustin Sofyan (INA/Questnet Team Qi-Meritus) 8 points; 7. Aditya Patel (IND/Atlantic Racing Team) 5 points; 8. Cao Hong Wei (CHN/Ao’s Racing) 5 points; 9. Fahmi Ilyas (MAS/E-Rain Racing) 4 points; 10. Akhil Khushlani (IND/E-Rain Racing) 3 points; 11. Dominic Ang (MAS/Team Holzer PFX) 2 points; 12. Fahad Algosaibi (KSA/E-Rain Racing) 1.5 points; 13. Steel Guiliana (AUS/Motaworld Racing) 1 points; 14. Zhu Huan (CHN/Questnet Team Qi-Meritus) ½ point.
                 

Rookie Cup

1. Thompson, 28 points; 2. Wong, 11 points; 3. Jefferies, 10 points; 4. Sofyan, 8 points; 5. Ilyas, 4 points; 6. Algosaibi 1.5 points; 7. Guiliana, 1 point

Teams

1.Eurasia Motorsport, 38.25 points; 2. Questnet Team Qi-Meritus, 26.5 points; 3. E-Rain Racing, 22.875 points; 4. Atlantic Racing Team, 22.5 points; 5. Ao’s Racing Team, 21 points; 6. Team Holzer PFX, 17.5 points; 7. Motaworld Racing, 6 points.

 
Statistics:

Winners 2009: Thompson (1); Haryanto (1)
Pole Positions: Thompson (2); Wootton (2)
Podiums: Thompson (2); Wootton (2); Haryanto (2)
Rookie Cup Wins: Thompson (2)

 
Background:


Formula BMW is the world’s leading entry-level series in formula racing. In 2009 the three Formula BMW series – Formula BMW Europe, Formula BMW Pacific and Formula BMW Americas – will be held in the key motor sport markets of Europe, pan-Asia and North and South America. Formula BMW will be regularly held in the support programme of Formula One. The series gives young racing talents the chance to enter professional motor sport in a safe racing car – the Formula BMW FB02.

The FB02 has been in use since season 2002. It is powered by a 140 hp BMW engine that takes it to a top speed of up to 230 km/h. It ranks among the safest vehicles in its category and exceeds the FIA safety regulations that govern this class of car. Innovations such as the FORS (Formula Rescue Seat) were developed by BMW Motorsport specifically for Formula BMW. Following Formula One, Formula BMW was the first single-seater series outside the US in which the HANS system was made mandatory.

Formula BMW drivers have the opportunity to take part in an Education and Coaching Programme that runs parallel with the racing season. The programme includes driver coaching at the races by professional race drivers, attending a Formula One test, fitness courses, tuition in driving technique and strategy, as well as seminars on sponsoring and sport management.

Among the 20 team drivers in this season’s Formula One, there are now five Formula BMW graduates: Nico Rosberg, Adrian Sutil, Sebastian Vettel, Sebastién Buemi and Timo Glock.


- Nikki Kemp, HongKong - also photo

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30.05.2009 / MaP

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