Teenaged Finnish racer Patrick Pasma upstaged the MRF Challenge field with a blistering lap of one minute, 30.559 seconds at the Madras Motor Racing Track (MMRT) here on Friday, to grab the pole position ahead of Saturdays race.
The 18-year-old Pasma, currently fifth in the championship having won just one race in 10 starts in the first round at Dubai in November last year, did well to shrug off two difficult free practice sessions, including a puncture in the first, to take P1 in the 30-minute qualifying run.
Pasma finished well ahead of championship front runners, Max Defourny from Belgium (01:31.119) and UK's Jamie Chadwick (01:31.103), who slotted in mid-grid positions.
Finishing second behind Pasma was Belgian Michaelangelo Amendola (01:30.682) followed by last year's British Formula 3 champion Linus Lundquist from Sweden (01:30.810) who had earlier topped both the Free Practice sessions, and Aussie teenager Jack Doohan (01:30.928).
Reflecting on his performance, Pasma said: "It was alright, though it wasn't perfect. In the first free practice we had a flat tyre, so it was really tricky. In the second free practice, we made a few changes and it was better. So, the pole position is a good base for Saturday's race."
"The track was really technical for us and you really have to be precise. There is no scope for any errors."
Mumbai's Nayan Chatterjee put in a hot lap of 01:40.346 to top the first of the two free practice sessions in the MRF F1600 category and carried forward the form into the second session which also he topped with a best of 01:39.744.
Rithvik Thomas of Race Concepts (Bengaluru) was the quickest among the Saloon cars (Super Stock) in the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Racing Championship with a flying lap of two minutes, 02.116 seconds in the second of the two free practice sessions, while teammate Joel Joseph topped the time sheets in the first, clocking a best of 02:02.396.
Former FMSCI president Akbar Ebrahim dominated both the free practice sessions in the Indian Touring Cars category, stopping the clock at 01:57.880 and 01:57.077 in the two outings.
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