Abdul-aziz in particular had taken on board my comments and on lap 3 set a blistering lap that secured pole. Tyres and engines go off after just a few laps and such was the level of tyre wear that anything that could be done to save performance was done, hence Abdul-aziz came in after his pole lap and sat in the pits to see if it could be beaten. For a long time no-one got close but I was worried about 1 driver, Ahmed Hamada who had shown himself to be quicker and quicker as the sessions went on. Sure enough, with less than 5 minutes to go, Hamada put in a lap 0.20 quicker than Abdul-aziz. As there was also a point for pole, Abdul-aziz shot out the pits to try and regain pole position.
It was so close, laptimes coming up just shy of his previous time and as each lap passed the tyres would be giving up grip. The clock ran down to zero and Abdul-aziz came in. I wasn't too unhappy as 2nd place on the grid IMO was the best place to start and he was a position in front of his championship rival Fahad Al-Musalam. I was just giving Abdul-aziz the good news when we heard that the lap that Al-Musalam had started just before the flag had dropped had pipped Abdul-aziz to 2nd place and he would now be starting 3rd.
Not ideal but again we had useful data which might help him in the race. Fahad qualified 6th but was actually 5th of the regular drivers. A pair of very succesful South-American youngsters had secured a guest drive in the series and they were very much on the pace.
Abdul-aziz prepares for qualifying
Fahad prepares for Qualifying
That was it for the Friday, a decent days work after which we all retired back to the Hotel for a well earnt slap-up supper and an early night.