Carbone snatches pole

Fabio Carbone snatched pole position in final qualifying for the 50th Macau Grand Prix, despite damaging his car after contact with the barriers. The Brazilian withstood a strong Australian challenge, edging out Ryan Briscoe and provisional pole holder James Courtney

Carbone snatches pole

The Brazilian set a stunning pace to set the fastest time, but then pushed too hard trying to improve, spinning into the barriers at San Francisco Bend. Fortunately for Carbone, none of the other drivers were able to improve on his time.

"It's unbelievable," said Carbone, who was second in yesterday's first qualifying. "The car was good yesterday so I felt really confident today. The car was perfect and I pushed really hard."

F3 Euro Series champion Briscoe laid claim to second on the grid - and best Aussie - despite a spin early in the session and a crash in morning practice.

"It's just fantastic," he enthused. "This is a very special and difficult circuit. I am feeling quite confident for the race, I have a good car, especially in the top section, but I know I have a lot to learn - and I am improving every time out."

Courtney was understandably disappointed to drop to third - especially considering he had been fastest in every session prior to final qualifying. The Australian couldn't improve his time from yesterday, and reckoned that he went the wrong way on set-up.

"We made some changes before qualifying, after my team-mate had tried them this morning, but they didn't really improve anything," he said. "There was a lot of traffic and incidents out there and the time should have been better. But I feel quite confident for the race because there are plenty of chances to overtake here."

Nicolas Lapierre backed up his team-mate's pole by setting the fourth fastest time in his Signature Dallara-Renault, ahead of Peirre Kaffer and American Richard Antinucci. Nico Rosberg was seventh fastest, while Nelson Piquet Jr will line up 13th.

Danny Watts was the top Briton in 16th, ahead of McLaren protégé Lewis Hamilton in 18th. Andrew Thompson was 21st fastest for Hitech, with Menu star Rob Austin 25th.

Fabio Carbone Signature Plus Dallara-Renault 2m13.016s
Ryan Briscoe Prema Powerteam Dallara-Opel 2m13.223s
James Courtney TOM's Dallara-Toyota 2m13.232s
Nicolas Lapierre Signature Plus Dallara-Renault 2m13.270s
Pierre Kaffer Superfund TME Dallara-Toyota 2m13.506s
Richard Antinucci Hitech Racing Dallara-Renault 2m13.514s

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