MALAYSIA - Asia's newest and most exciting single seater series, Formula BMW Asia got underway with Team Meritus driver Ho-PinTung of China topping the qualifying times at the Sepang International Circuit, taking pole position for the first round of the series tomorrow.
Twenty-year-old Tung was understandably delighted with his pole position. "It went really, really well today. I can't be anything else but happy. The car went well and the team was tremendous. I hope to keep this pace in the race tomorrow, and then we will see what happens," he said following the session.
Tung's time of 2:16.123 put him ahead of Meritus team mate Hanse Lin of Taiwan who clocked a best time of 2:17.895, just 1.772 seconds slower. Thailand's Natthapong Horthorthongkum will start from the second row of the grid with a time of 2:17.908.
After a cautious start Malaysian James Veerapan was third fastest at one stage, but was eventually eclipsed by Natthapong and You Kyong-Ouk from Korea to set the 5th fastest time. His compatriot TJ Chin did not have the best session after spinning on his second qualifying lap.One of two female drivers competing in the Formula BMW Asia Series, Keiko Ihara of Japan, qualified 6th fastest.
Indian Movie star Ajit Kumar qualified in 11th place, ahead of team mate and fellow countryman Rajvirdhan Vijayakumar.
The Formula BMW Asia action continues tomorrow (Saturday) with the inaugural round of the series which will be run over 11 laps of the Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur, as a support race for the Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix.
The Formula BMW Asia Series is part of the Asian Festival of Speed (AFOS) organised by Malaysian-based Motorsport Asia Limited, which also includes the Asian Touring Car Series, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and the Asian Formula 3 Series. In addition to Malaysia, AFOS will visit Thailand, Korea, Japan and China throughout the season.