Drugovich clinches pole under lights

The flying Brazilian, Felipe Drugovic, put up a strong display to clinch the pole position during the qualifying round of the MRF Challenge 2017 at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

Brazil's Felipe Drugovich clocked 2:10.637s during the qualifying round of the MRF Challenge 2017 at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi on Thursday to clinch the pole position.   -  Special Arrangement

Felipe Drugovich experienced some issues with his car but that did not stop him from clinching the pole for the opening race in the penultimate round of the MRF Challenge 2017 at the Yas Marina circuit here on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, the drivers took some time to get the feel of the car and the circuit. And, once they did, they jumped with confidence and comfortably hit the straights and caressed the corners with ease to kick off a bit of excitement during the two practise sessions scheduled for the day.

READ: Can Drugovich sparkle under lights?

And, it was Drugovich, the Dubai double winner, who set the fastest lap in both the sessions. He carried forward his good work under the lights in the qualifier despite those minor hiccups with the car. The flying Brazilian, the championship leader, worked hard with every passing lap and finally managed to stop the clock at 2:10.637s in the 11th for the top spot on the grid.

"It was quite difficult as the body work was coming off and the down shifts with the gear were also giving me some problems. I could not see my timings but went about driving," said Drugovich, a first timer to this circuit. He said there were lots of corners. "Many were slow and tight but I am beginning to get used to it."

Frenchman Julien Falchero also faced issues with the set up of his car but still wrested the second spot on the grid with a timing of 2:11.128. "If we find the right set up then something is possible," he said.

Qualifying results: (Top five only)
1. Felipe Drugovich (Bra) 2:10.637
2. Julien Falchero (Fra) 2:11.128
3. Alex Karkosik (Pol) 2:11.128
4. Presley Martono (Idn) 2:11.330
5. Louis Gachot (Fra) 2:11.645

 

(The writer is in Abu Dhabi at the invitation of MRF Tyres)

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