The World Series Formula V8 3.5 went back on-track at Circuit Of The Americas in Texas for Qualifying 2 which set the grid for tomorrow’s final heat of the weekend. While waiting to know the name of the series’ first North American winner, it was time for a top-class showdown at the stunning Austin venue, and the RPM-MKTG promoted championship did not disappoint.
In Qualifying 2, competition reached a whole new level as the two frontrunners ended up with the same exact lap time. The honours eventually went to Spanish rookie Alex Palou (Teo Martin Motorsport) who secured his third pole in World Series having set his 1:49.411 mark mere seconds earlier than Pietro Fittipaldi (Lotus). The Brazilian, who has 10 pole positions to his name this year, was once again denied late but is still in a great position for tomorrow. As usual, many other competitors took turns in the lead especially with their second sets of tires but none could beat the leading combo.
Third place went to Egor Orudzhev (SMP Racing by AVF) who remained among the most competitive men in the field just 12 hundreds of a second away from the pole. Race 1 pole-sitter Rene Binder (Lotus) will complete the second row on Saturday while the top-5 will be rounded out by Matevos Isaakyan (SMP Racing by AVF).
The first half of the session was headed by Orudzhev with Binder and Fittipaldi in close pursuit.
Alex Palou (Teo Martin Motorsport)
“Finally, I got my third pole here in World Series V8 3.5 and I’m really really happy. I can say that I have a great car and I feel very comfortable with it unlike yesterday when we had some bit of problems. Today I will start P3 and will try to fight for victory, while tomorrow we will be P1. Let’s go for it!”
Pietro Fittipaldi – Lotus
“Obviously we are going for the championships so having two front row starts is good. Of course I’m not happy, I wanted to get the pole. I tied Alex’s time today so if you think about it is just a tiny little thing I could have done, maybe even a little jump in the car! It’s OK anyway, this is racing, we’ll be starting from P2 twice and we will try to maximize it. I really like this track, it’s very technical and you need rhythm. Yesterday I was a bit off rhythm but today I’m more comfortable so I will push as hard as I can.”
Egor Orudzhev – SMP Racing by AVF
“This time we feel we have a very good car because I was quite easy and on the first set of tires I always perform good. It was just me, I couldn’t execute it with the second set. It would have been easy to be much quicker than I was, three or four tenths. For me it’s always a bit disappointing when I’m not putting all the corners together. We’ll work on that and will have to work our way from P3. Hopefully we will get a good start and a good race.”