Release No: 11
Date: November 15, 2002
MACAU F3 GRAND PRIX
Second free practice
The French ASM driver overcame difficult conditions, which included a brief rain shower, to move to the top of the timesheets with just two minutes of the 30-minute session remaining. Luckily his spin did not result in a big impact with the barriers and caused just light damage to the left-hand side of his car.
Finn Heikki Kovalainen remained confident about his chances for qualifying and was back to full fitness after feeling slightly unwell on Thursday. "Everything is much better now," said the Fortec driver, who ended the session just 0.214 seconds behind Gommendy. "I think I was just a little dehydrated yesterday, because I've now drunk a lot of water and feel a lot better. I am now starting to get a rhythm out there on the track and putting the laps together. I'm very confident for qualifying."
Italian Paolo Montin, the runner-up in this year's Japanese Formula 3 championship, was equally optimistic about his chances for the afternoon's final qualifying session after setting the third best time. He was just 0.459 seconds down on Gommendy.
The TOM'S driver said: "That was really good. We have changed the car a little bit since yesterday and I am now very confident for second qualifying. I didn't want to take any risks when it rained briefly, so came into the pits to cool down."
Gommendy's team-mate, Frenchman Olivier Pla, was fourth fastest, ahead of Japanese Yuji Ide and Portugal's Cesar Campanico.
Australian James Courtney, who qualified an impressive third in first qualifying despite having never raced at Macau before, lost track time after suffering a misfire but was generally happy. "I had to come into the pits to get it fixed and by the time I went back out it had started raining," explained the Carlin Motorsport driver. "We will see what happens this afternoon."
British Formula 3 champion Robbie Kerr was much happier with his car following the troubles of his first day. The Alan Docking Racing driver set the 10th best time, two places ahead of provisional pole position holder Kousuke Matsuura. Kerr said: "That was a lot better. We will make a few changes to the car before qualifying and I said yesterday we would go quicker today. We are back on track again."
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