- Pylon Hit!
Oh no! There's the pylon! Gate 7 is down again!
It's a 57.938 for Hall's second run, although without that pylon hit, that would have been really fast!
Next up our second of the French pilots, Francois Le Vot...
Seems convincing for Le Vot as he makes his way through the tricky Chiba track... looks like he's done his homework
It's not the fastest but that is acceptable and should place him midfield... it's 57.116
Second run now and it's all over too soon! It's the call from Race Control to knock it off and that's a Safety Climb Out for crossing the safety line... so the Q1 time will stand
Chile's Cristian Bolton up now...
He's not quite on the pace of Brageot... it's red on the split times but it's clean and he's possibly banking a Q1
Bolton stops the clock in 56.365 and that puts him in 3rd with a Q2 to fly...
Back in the track and it's a little unsteady there... he looks a little off his line and there it is, too high in Gate 9 and that's the buzzer... plus 2s in penalties
Bolton's second Qualifying run is 59.057 with 2s added
Now it's the turn of our second Czech pilot, Petr Kopfstein. It's a fine performance for him! That's a very strong run and he can afford to push it now in Q2. It's 55.954 clean! He moves into second behind Hall!
More of a tailwind in Gate 3 and that could have pushed Kopfstein off his line as he gets the knock it off call in his second Qualifying run and it's a Safety Climb Out.
Hall is sitting at the top after five pilots – he sets the pace with 55.010
Hall: "I'm happy I got through with only a pylon hit. I've been struggling a bit with the plane. We can go faster it's just a matter of letting it happen."
Kirby Chambliss will fly next...
Smooth and controlled, great through the chicane for Chambliss – not his usual aggressive style and those split times are red but it's very close! He's almost on Hall's pace...
And just at the critical moment, that's the call from Race Control and it's a Safety Climb Out for crossing the crowd line...
He's got another shot now in his Q2 run... and he'll really need to pay attention if he wants to secure a good head to head pairing tomorrow
And the splits are red, a little high at Gate 6 but it doesn't attract the attention of the judges
He's smooth again, very confident and controlled... it's clean and that's 55.226 and he moves into second behind Hall
Our second American up now, it's Mike Goulian
Goulian was second in San Diego Qualifying and this really gave him a boost... but how's he doing here in Chiba?
This is safe and sensible, he can be happy with that – fifth place with 56.293 and another chance to really go all out to try to climb the timesheet
His second run starts well, well handled into the first VTM... he's still red on the split times but it's possibly the best way to play this one
And it's 55.539 for Goulian! That moves him into third!
That's the halfway point of Qualifying – here's a recap: