First up! It's Germany's Matthias Dolderer
France's Le Vot into the track. He's taken some great results away from the Free Practice sessions and certainly looks as though he might be a thorn in the side of the title contenders. Le Vot into the track at 190kts... good pace through the first Chicane, through the first VTM safely but a little lacking now, but there's energy there and he's pulling it back as he takes a first place finish with that performance. Another shot could give him a chance at grabbing a 56s result.
Kirby Chambliss into the track next.
McLeod up next! He took the first place finish in the last Free Practice session, but he's gone in too hard exceeding the start speed and he's gone wide and out of the track! It's a SCO (Safety Climb Out) for McLeod as he tells Race Director Jim DiMatteo that he's going to reset
Just one chance remaining for McLeod to pick up maximum Qualifying points, and he's taking his time coming back around for his second pass in the track.
Brageot finished in the top half of the standings in Free Practice, but he's looking pretty solid out there at the moment and could be another potential podium candidate. Good rhythm in the track and an aggressive VTM from Brageot, though the splits are a good second behind Le Vot at the moment. A big, wide turn from Brageot and more aggression, but he can't seem to claw back the time in the track and flying on the edge here. Not as quick as expected as he blasts through the track with 58.389. He's got a decent time but definitely room for improvement.
Currently the wind conditions are southerly with gusts up to 12kts
Consistency has been the name of the game for Velarde, who has taken three second place finishes in all Free Practice sessions. He's clocked in at 55s and 56s this weekend, and if he can maintain some pace and precision, he may be able to take the top spot out there from Le Vot. but we're generally seeing slower performances today and Velarde is just behind Le Vot, chasing his heels and taking some pretty flat turns but it's not pushing him ahead in the track. The wind conditions are challenging on the return with a headwind, and he clocks in at 57.523, placing him third overall so far.
Ivanoff said he had struggled to get comfortable in this track, and his results reflect that he might still be playing with his tactics to find the right lines that work for him. Into the track at 187kts, a little off the pace there, but he's through the chicane cleanly and pulling through the VTM... back through the track... pulling around late and the pace isn't looking great. The straight turns are looking slow and the pace is sluggish. Not a great start and let's see if Ivanoff and he'll need to reset, pick it up and pull harder in the second pass.
Goulian has had a rocky ride in Free Practice and will be working hard to get a great spot in the R14. He's into the track and looking a little conservative, some straight VTMs into the strong wind, flatter in the southern end - an interesting tactic. Some solid flying but no real bite or aggression. Clean and no real mistakes there, but he'll need to raise his game as he slips into fifth overall. Another run to make some improvements.