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Nigel Moore reigns supreme in qualifying

Saturday, July 24 2010

Nigel Moore continued his seeming stranglehold on proceedings here at Oulton Park to dominate qualifying, setting four laps faster than the rest of the field to ensure he will start from pole for both of today's races.

With this morning's qualifying session determining both race one and race two grids - the latter of which is shaped by each driver's second fastest lap - Moore set a relentless pace to seal pole position by more than three tenths of a second for both contests.

Maxime Jousse, who currently heads Moore in the overall standings, will share the front row with Moore for race one - setting up a fascinating duel that could well prove significant in the title race.

Behind the lead duo, race one will feature an all-Spanish second row as championship rivals Ramon Pineiro and Jose Alonso Liste - currently separated by just five points in the standings - took third and fourth respectively.

Pineiro had held top spot as the first driver to dip into the 1m35s bracket, but had to settle for third as first Moore and then Jousse made their moves. It was incredibly close though, with Jousse, Pineiro and Alonso Liste all separated by less than one tenth of a second.

Vincent Beltoise, ninth in both practice sessions, put in an highly impressive performance to seal fifth, edging out Kieron Vernon by just over one tenth of a second.

That left championship contender Melroy Heemskerk - who won the opening race of the season at Brands Hatch - in seventh position, although the Dutchman was still within one second of Moore's ultimate pace.

Heemskerk will share the fourth row with Howard Fuller, after the Briton jumped Welshman Ash Davies in the closing stages of the session. Davies will therefore line up ninth alongside Giuseppe Cirpriani, who put in a notable performance to round out the top ten, having finished 13th in the opening practice session.

James Thorp and Luca Orlandi will share the sixth row, while Callum Holland continues to struggle with the effects of a bout of gastric flu - the Briton could only manage five laps and finished 13th, just ahead of series returnee Mark Powell, who makes his 2010 debut this weekend.

With each driver's second fastest lap determining the line-up for race two, both grids were remarkably similar - the main change being Maxime Jousse, who drops from second to fourth for the weekend's final contest. That promotes Ramon Pineiro onto the front row, with Jose Alonso Liste moving into third. Holland meanwhile drops from 13th to 14th for race two as he continues to struggle with illness - Mark Powell moving the other way.

Ominously for the rest of the field, Moore's second fastest lap was just four thousandths of a second slower than his ultimate best - suggesting he may well have the pace and consistency to translate his early dominance into two race victories here at Oulton Park.

Formula Palmer Audi Championship - Rounds 9 & 10 - Oulton Park - Qualifying Provisional Classification:

1. Nigel Moore, 1:35.365s
2. Maxime Jousse, +0.325s
3. Ramon Pineiro, +0.358s
4. Jose Alonso Liste, +0.410s
5. Vincent Beltoise, +0.670s
6. Kieron Vernon, +0.834s
7. Melroy Heemskerk, +0.958s
8. Howard Fuller, +1.027s
9. Ash Davies, +1.080s
10. Giuseppe Cirpriani, +1.531s

Qualifying also determined race two's grid, with the order based on each driver's second fastest lap. To see the race two grid, or to visit the official FPA homepage, click the link below.