Fauzy loses front row grid slot

Mofaz Fortec's Fairuz Fauzy has been stripped of his front row grid position for tomorrow's Formula Renault 3.5 feature race at Portimao, and will now line up at the back of the grid, after his car was found to be one kilo underweight in post-qualifying technical checks

Fauzy loses front row grid slot

Team boss Richard Dutton was puzzled by the officials' ruling.

"Part of the problem has been caused by Renault changing the engine mapping before qualifying, so we were running 10 per cent more fuel," he said. "We had no fuel left to provide a sample, but in any case we were a kilo underweight.

"There's a difference between our scales and Renault's, we had the car as five kilos over. I can't understand it as we have never had this car near the weight limit. We have actually been working hard to get the weight down, usually we don't even run ballast."

But Fauzy was philosophical about events.

"That's motorsport," said the Malaysian. "I hope tomorrow that the other 23 cars blow-up their engines! But I am confident that we still have a quick car. Even if it difficult to pass here, I will make it happen."

Silverstone winner Charles Pic is promoted into Fauzy's front row position alongside pole-sitter Jaime Alguersuari.

Both of this weekend's races have had their scheduled distances cut from 44 minutes and one lap to 35 minutes and one lap, in a bid to ease reliability concerns after today's spate of heat-induced engine problems.

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