Bahrain MRF Challenge: Kalmthout takes pole in dominant fashion

US F2000 runner-up Rinus van Kalmthout dominated qualifying for the Bahrain round of MRF Challenge, claiming season’s first pole by nearly half a second.

Bahrain MRF Challenge: Kalmthout takes pole in dominant fashion
Harri Jones
Engine detail of Manuel Maldonado car
Drivers group photo with MRF team members
Alex Karkosik
Henning Enqvist
Julien Falchero

Felipe Drugovich led the first half of the session with a time of 2m01.919s, before Julien Falchero disposed him by making a marginal improvement of 0.019s.

A few minutes later Kalmthout emerged into the picture, going almost a second quicker with a lap of 2m01.159s. He broke the 2m01s barrier on the following lap, setting a time of 2m00.754s for everyone else to beat.

Despite several attempts in the final five minutes of the session, Kamthout’s lap remained unbeaten, granting him pole position for the first race of the weekend.

Drugovich came closest to Kalmthout, but even his fastest time was 0.461s slower than the Dutch driver.

Euroformula Open podium finisher Alex Karkosik was next up in third, three tenths off the front row, with Falchero ending fourth after being unable to improve on his earlier flyer of 2m01.900s.

Presley Martono was fifth and the last of the runners to lap under 2m02s, while Pavan Ravishankar was marginally slower in sixth.

MRF Challenge regular Dylan Young wound up seventh, while Manuel Maldonado and Nazim Azman set identical times in eighth and ninth.

The top 10 was rounded off by Robert Megennis, whose lap was nearly 1.5s slower than Kamthout’s pole time.

 

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