Release No: 5
Date: November 15, 2001
MACAU F3 GRAND PRIX
Thursday First Qualifying
MONTIN CLAIMS PROVISIONAL POLE POSITION
Italian Paolo Montin maintained his advantage at the head of the field as he claimed provisional pole position on Thursday for this weekend's Macau Grand Prix. The TOM'S driver fought off incredibly tough opposition to outpace pre-event favourite Takuma Sato by just three tenths of a second.
Montin had been in contention for the top spot from the start of the session but started putting real pressure down with 12 minutes of qualifying remaining when he got within 0.005 seconds of then quickest man Sato. After then slipping down the order as several other drivers improved their times, Montin eventually set his best lap of 2 minutes 13.214 seconds with less than two minutes of the session remaining.
"At the beginning
of the session there was a lot of traffic out there and several crashes,
which eventually caused a red flag to come out," said Montin. "Later
on I decided to stay on my used tyres as I think the track will improve
tomorrow so will be a lot quicker. We will be changing the suspension
on the car for tomorrow because I touched the barriers at one point, but
I am very happy with today."
"I'm pretty happy,"
he said. "Today is not really important as it is more like a test
session. Tomorrow is the day that matters. It is good to be up there at
the front of the field and I feel confident for tomorrow."
Davidson had just
put in the fifth quickest time of the session, after earlier losing his
front wing in a crash with Lei Kit Meng, when he lost control of his Carlin
Motorsport's car and crashed into the barriers. Carlin's misery was further
compounded when Australian Peter Hackett crashed his car just moments
Macau Media Centre, - 15.11.01
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