In what was a very close battle between Jin Sawada and Yugo Nagashima, it was the Infinity driver that took the 3rd round of qualifying in Guangzhou, passing his compatriot on the final lap after Yugo misunderstood the announcer and thinking the race was over. In the end, the difference was just 0.045 of a second, the pair very close now on pace, which will make for a very interesting 8-minute final. Finally finding a setup for his Serpent X20, it was Stick King in 3rd place, the Hong Kong driver was much improved this round while Gary Huang completed the top 4, still struggling with the difficult conditions. ‘Super close’ was how Jin summed up the run, also mentioning that the traction was now slightly lower than this morning. Making a mistake, riding up on the curb and half spinning just before the straight while passing Stick King, this lost the Japanese driver only 4 tenths but was enough to drop him to 2nd at that point in the run. For the final qualifier, Sawada will put on a new set of Sweep handout tires and try to seal his 4th TQ of the season.
‘Last lap was my mistake’ explained Yugo when asked about the very close finish. Thinking the race was over he didn’t push as hard on the final lap and this cost him his second TQ run of the day. Feeling it was more difficult this round, in part due to the small drop in traction, he said his car pushed too much and so to compensate he would turn in slightly earlier which caused him to clip the curbs on too many occasions. Another to bolt-on fresh tires for the final qualifier he plans to go all out to deny Sawada the pole position.
Showing a marked improvement over yesterday and this morning’s pace, Stick King put his newly found pace down to a number of things, the first being set-up changes which included changing the shock absorber angles, the Serpent driver saying the focus of his setup is to completely eliminate traction roll. The other change he said was to change his mind, telling his brain to slow down and think more when driving.