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Olson Qualifies 11 of 19 for AFR Round 5; Charges Up Four Positions to Finish 7 of 19
American BELL helmets/Drift Innovation/ChildFund International Formula Renault pilot Pete Olson qualified 11th of 19 for today's Asia Formula Renault Round 5, going on to move up four positions in this afternoon's race
Today the Zhuhai International Circuit hosted Round 5 of the Asia Formula Renault Championship [“AFR”], with Qualifying taking place at 9:50am under sunny and cool conditions. BELL helmets/Drift Innovation/ChildFund International Formula Renault pilot Pete Olson placed 11 of 19 in the session after pitting twice for setup changes.
This weekend, the AFR series is using Hankook F3 spec slicks after a tire delay from Kuhmo, maker of the regular AFR slick tires – as a result, all competitors were searching for the right setup to adjust to the new tires’ performance. In qualifying, Olson only managed to set a 1.40.5 after his first pit in for a setup change, but after the second setup adjustment managed to knock out a 1.39.3 on the out lap, and 1.39.0 on the second lap when the checkered came out to end the session.
“I knew that I would have definitely broken into the 38’s with one more lap to maximize what I was getting out of the good results of the setup changes, which had gotten rid of the tendency of the front to understeer, that is, push out the front end, on the exit of corners” said Olson. “So I knew I was in a good standing for the race this afternoon, as my qualifying time didn’t really reflect what I was capable of running.”
Round 5’s race took place at 3:45pm, still under favorable sunny weather conditions. After a photo session the nineteen drivers took to the start grid – and Olson got off to another of his trademark catapult-style launches, managing to pick up four positions during the race and finish 7 of 19. This puts Olson in a much more favorable starting position for Round 6 tomorrow at 3pm, as the grid will be determined by the finishing order from today’s Round 5.
"We've really got the car dialed in with some big setup changes and new engine" said Olson. "No doubt we are looking at improving results for the rest of the season, now that we can focus on maximizing driving performance instead of sorting the car mechanically."
We wish Olson the best of luck in tomorrow’s Round 6 of the 2012 Asia Formula Renault Championship.