He's now got one chance and he'll have to be careful and considered... we might see a more reserved performance from the Czech pilot
Sonka kicks hard through the Start Gate and he's got a first green split, but he's losing time as he flies through Gate 3, 4, 5, 6... he pushes hard for the Finish Gate and picks up +2s along the way at Gate 12
Dolderer, Goulian and Muroya in the top 3, Arch, Hall, Kopfstein and Podlunsek still to fly
Hannes Arch up next. He took fastest in the last flying session in Free Practice 1, and as a regular on the Abu Dhabi podium he's one of the biggest threats for the race win this weekend.
Arch pushes hard through the first vertical turn and he's just 0.25s off Dolderer's pace. Arch pushing hard and it's clean and penalty free... a good solid performance on his first run with 59.764 and that gives him a good foundation to go more aggressive in Run 2.
He needs to scrub off 1.5s to take Dolderer's first place
Arch through the Start Gate cleanly and he's clearly flying more on the edge with a more aggressive but clean performance. He seems to be running a little off the pace still and despite his confidence in the track, he's told to knock it off with an over-G. Clear frustration from Arch as he returns to the airport but he's got a time and he's looking competitive.
FP3 fastest pilot Matt Hall into the track...
He's pushing hard and fast in the first split with a 0.120s advantage, but the times are back into the red as he holds back and eases off, losing 0.462s as he approaches the Finish Gate.
That's solid and consistent, a cool Hall delivering in Run 1 with 58.730
And he's 0.350S faster than Dolderer in the first split!
The splits remain green and Hall is showcasing his superior skill and talent out in the racetrack
He's scrubbing off even more time and the Australian is dominating in the racetrack with 0.189s advantage on Dolderer with 58.079
Hall will be happy and cautiously optimistic with that result and it's the perfect preparation for Race Day for the team.
Kopfstein up next and will be looking to retain his midfield position after Free Practice 3 and his 7th place.
Kopfstein looking calm and the newcomer puts in a clean and smooth performance – he seems to be learning quickly and for a first time in Masters Qualifying Kopfstein puts in 1:01.972
Kopfstein only 0.7s off the fastest pace in the first split... no penalties on the board and the Czech pilot is looking as though he could move up the timesheets...
NO! A call to knock it off from the race tower and Kopfstein will have to be satisfied with that Run 1 time. It's an encouraging start to the 2016 season and we're sure there's more to come.
Last up today is Peter Podlunsek
Nerves seem to be getting the better of Podlunsek as he picks up a handful of penalties in the track, including a pylon hit.
Podlunsek gets a call from the race tower to knock it off as he wanders over the safety line. It's a DQ for this run and the Slovenian pilot needs to hold it together in his first Qualifying session in the Master Class.
Just a short wait as the Air Gators do their thing and get the pylon up and ready
Podlunsek back in for Run 2... he's GOT to keep a level head