Kuppens secures the ‘pole position’ title
Kuppens’ eyes stayed on the prize in Qualifying 2 and he cruised to pole position. Taking top spot gave him another reason to celebrate as he claimed the highest number of pole positions: four versus Sernagiotto’s three. The Italian only just missed out on the trophy with his time of 1:54.075, just 0.027 off Kuppens’.
Behind the front two came Fabio Venier (1:54.578) and Andrea Dromedari (1:55.001). In fifth was Alan Simoni (1:55.013), Ange Barde sixth and Mathijs Bakker seventh. Next up were Shaun Thong, Justino Azcarate, Andreas Segler, Mads Rasmussen, Richard Denny (in a back-up car), Adrien De Leener, Eric Cheung and Per Nielsen.
Row eight was filled by Larbi Tadlaoui and Pierre De Leener. Occupying the remaining places were Guenther Forster, Carlos Alberto, Lung Yuk Siu, Yu Kam Cheong, Jacky Yeung and Billy Fung. Taking the last two slots were Wei Wang and Gerard Yap.
Sbirrazzuoli comes through
Cedric Sbirrazzuoli upset the form book to snatch pole position in Qualifying 1. Top spot seemed a forgone conclusion after the fine form displayed in free practice by Renaud Kuppens but it was Sbirrazzuoli's fine lap that won the day. The Monaco-based driver stopped the clock at 1:54.103, 0.351 quicker than the Belgian who had designs on taking another pole.
"I realised that there wasn't much rubber down on the track", commented Sbirrazzuoli at the end of the day, "so I waited five minutes before going out. By doing so I also avoided the early-lap traffic: as we saw, the race officials imposed a ten-second gap between the drivers and this caused created a few tailbacks. So, I decided to wait for the right moment before setting my quick lap"
Behind them, on row two, will be Riccardo Ragazzi (1:54.627) and Max Pigoli (1:55.051). In fifth is Swiss driver Ange Barde, a driver who set the session's best time in the opening mini-session. Behind him is Andrea Gardelli and Dutchman Mathijs Bakker, who is doing well at Shanghai. Row four is taken by Giuseppe Fascicolo; he finished ahead of Richard Denny after Denny's stint ended early following a meeting with the race wall. Up next are Justino Azcarate, Ringo Chong, Eric Lo, Adrien De Leener, Eric Cheung, Mads Rasmussen, Philip Ma and Per Nielsen.
Guenther Forster is eighteenth with Lung Yuk Siu and the journalist Yu Qi next on the grid. Yu Qi will be partnered by Wang in the No.33 Bower&Wilkins car and so will not earn any championship points. On row ten is Benny Lim and Andreas Segler. Closing out the field are Andrew Luk, Billy Fung and the Moroccan driver Larbi Tadlaoui, who covered just three laps.
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