Dubai: Newly crowned Formula Campus Renault champion Jean Eric Vergne showed his class by taking pole position for both races in the two qualifying sessions on a circuit he had only ever driven on for the first time earlier in the morning.
A true champion performance as he faced the onslaught of Dubai based drivers who call the Dubai Autodrome their "home" circuit.
Courtyard by Marriott Dubai born and bred driver Ramez Azzam made the most of his local track knowledge to set the fourth fastest time in the first qualifying and tyre problems hampered his progress in qualifying two forcing him to settle for eleventh.
He will have his work cut out to make the podium which is his goal for the Motorcity Dubai Motorsport Festival.
Emirati HSBC Racing Academy Emirati driver Thani Al Thani was an impressive sixth and eighth in respective qualifying sessions.
He was the most consistent of the Academy trio. He said, "I want to make Dubai race fans as proud as I am to be driving in front of them."
Khalid Al Mutawaa twelfth in both qualifying sessions ensuring a frantic battle in the highly competitive midfield. Mohamad Al Abdooli posted thirteenth and eighteenth fastest times in his stints.
Maurits Knopje was one happy man after qualifying for the Gulf Radical Cup.
Still celebrating the recent birth of his third child, the Dubai based Dutchman took it one step further to post the quickest time and claim pole position for the Radical race. He was all smile after qualifying, "It has been a great week and taking my first pole in this class is a big boost to my confidence."
Bassam Kronfli had to settle for second on the grid by the narrowest of margins, a tenth of a second in fact, which should result in a couple of tightly contested races over the weekend.
Formula Campus Renault
- 1. Jean-Eric VERGNE (FRA) - 2:20.251
- 2. Kevin BREYSSE (FRA) - 2:20.747
- 3. Alexis GERDIL (FRA) - 2:20.978
- 4. Ramez AZZAM (CAN) - 2:21.099
- 5. Remi BOUDOUL (FRA) - 2:21.260
- 6. Thani BIN THANI (UAE) - 2:21.313
- 12. 28 Khalid AL MUTAWAA (UAE) - 2:21.979
- 133 26 Mohammad AL ABDOOLI (UAE) - 2:22.186
- 1. Jean-Eric VERGNE (FRA) - 2:19.232
- 2. Kevin BREYSSE (FRA) - 2:19.804
- 3. Alexis GERDIL (FRA) - 2:20.512
- 4. Gary CHALANDON (FRA) - 2:20.541
- 5. Jim PLA (FRA) - 2:20.563 7 1.331
- 8. Thani BIN THANI (UAE) - 2:20.713
- 11. Ramez AZZAM (CAN) - 2:20.828
- 12. Khalid AL MUTAWA (UAE) - 2:20.880
- 18. Mohammad AL ABDOOLI (UAE) - 2:21.923
Gulf Radical Cup Qualifying:
- 1. Maurits Knopje - Radical SR3 - 2:05.448
- 2. Bassam Kronfli - Radical SR3 - 2:05.464
- 3. Fahad Al Musalem - Radical SR3 - 2:06.215
- 4. John Stanley - Radical SR3 - 2:07.014
- 5. Omran Alowais - Radical SR3 - 2:08.141
Open Saloon Series Qualifying:
- 1. Karim AL-AZHARI - Porsche 911 - 2:26.995
- 2. Steve MCLINTOCK - Mitsubishi - Lancer EVO - 2:27.367
- 3. Raed Jihad HASSAN - Subaru STi2002 - 2:28.012
- 4. Zlatko MULABEGOVIC - Renault Clio Cup - 2:35.092
- 5. Mohammad AL FALASI - Volkswagen Golf GTi - 2:35.137
Superstock Motorcycles Qualifying:
- 1. Abdulaziz BAKR - Kawasaki ZX6RR - 2:19.167
- 2. Richard MCCALL - Yamaha R6 - 2:20.341
- 3. Grant YAKE - Suzuki GSXR - 2:20.402
- 4. Rod SCOTT - Yamaha R6 - 2:20.503
- 5. Robert NICHOLAS - Yamaha R6 - 2:20.628.