PAC: Series Guangdong qualifying notes
Oon takes maiden pole in China. Guangzhou, China - Formula BMW Pacific Junior Jordan Oon (AUS/20) earned his first two pole positions of the season, with the E-Rain Racing driver qualifying on top for both Rounds 7 and 8 in a shortened ...
Oon takes maiden pole in China.
Guangzhou, China - Formula BMW Pacific Junior Jordan Oon (AUS/20) earned his first two pole positions of the season, with the E-Rain Racing driver qualifying on top for both Rounds 7 and 8 in a shortened qualifying session at the 2.820km Guangdong International Circuit.
For Round 7, Drivers Classification and Rookie Cup leader Richard Bradley (SIN/19/Eurasia Motorsport) will join Oon on the front row, while Malaysian Calvin Wong (16/PETRONAS Mofaz Racing) was third quickest. With the drivers' second-fastest times determining the order for Round 8, Oon and Bradley will once again take the front row, with Wong third.
Friday's heavy rains eased off briefly in time for the afternoon qualifying session, although the wet track kept things interesting for the field of 16, all whom are racing for the first time on the Guangdong International Circuit. Despite making a costly error, Oon's best time of 1:33.314 could not be bettered.
From the start, Oon, currently third in the Drivers Classification and Rookie Cup, set the tone of the session, storming to the top of the leaderboard. Wong and Nabil Jeffri (MAS/16/Eurasia Motorsport), just back from his first experience in a Formula 1 car, answered the challenge, as did Colombian Oscar Tunjo (Meritus). Bradley came out of the pits soon after and was immediately quick.
The session was red flagged 10 minutes in, after three drivers were caught in the gravel. Although Chang rejoined the session, Tunjo and Oon were not able to, with Oon smarting over his momentary loss of concentration.
The session was restarted and immediately Formula BMW Pacific Junior Jesse Dixon (AUS/18/Atlantic Racing Team) made an impact and moved into fourth position. Dixon, who beat his previous qualifying best by 13 places, will start from fourth in both Rounds 7 and 8. Fellow Formula BMW Pacific Junior Kotaro Sakurai (JPN/16/Eurasia Motorsport) qualified in 14th for both Rounds.
Meanwhile Bradley and Wong, second in the Drivers Classification, each made a spirited effort to better Oon's time. Rookie Duvashen Padyachee (AUS/20/Eurasia Motorsport) also distinguished himself in the second part of the session, qualifying fifth for Round 7 and beating his qualifying best by 10 places.
Thirteen minutes after the restart, the session ended with a red flag as a result of drivers stranded in the gravel.
Jeffri, who will start from fifth in Round 8, recently returned from his first duties with the Lotus F1 team where he did a straight line test and pit stop practice, giving him a feel for the engine and aerodynamics. Of his experience, Jeffri said: "It's great. It really helps the learning curve. The car was very, very fast and one of the best experiences of my life. I was really proud to drive for Lotus and think this experience will help my career."
Rounds 7-10 are taking place in support of the Hong Kong Autosport Challenge.
Formula BMW Pacific Driver Quotes:
Jordan Oon, 1st Rounds 7&8 Qualifying: "The team made a couple of changes before qualifying and it seemed to come together, although I was a bit surprised by how much a difference the changes made. I'm disappointed at having ended my session early because there was definitely more time in the car. I just made mistakes. I blanked out on the straight and lost concentration for a second and then it was over."
Richard Bradley, 2nd Rounds 7&8 Qualifying: "I came out late on purpose, it was definitely a racing tactic, but I messed it up a little bit. I'm frustrated because my plan was to take it easy and then push at the end, but there were loads of red flags and I only got in one clean lap. We also had a radio mix-up and so I'm frustrated, but on the positive side it could have gone a lot worse and I feel quite good."
Calvin Wong, 3rd Rounds 7&8 Qualifying: "I do have some experience from last year driving in the rain, but it's also a new circuit so I'm not sure if I had that much of an advantage. In the rain you can't push much and I did make a couple of mistakes, but I tried to just correct any mistakes and do better on the next lap. "