Ros­berg takes pole for Ja­pan GP

Of­fi­cial win­ners an­nounced at the Malta Clas­sic Hill Climb by Thomas Smith

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Mercedes driver Nico Ros­berg put him­self in the best pos­si­ble po­si­tion to widen his lead over For­mula One ti­tle ri­val and team­mate Lewis Hamil­ton by se­cur­ing pole po­si­tion yes­ter­day for the Ja­panese Grand Prix.

Ros­berg clocked a time of 1 minute, 30.647 sec­onds on his fi­nal fly­ing lap at the Suzuka cir­cuit to beat Hamil­ton by just a hun­dredth of a sec­ond.

“Things have been go­ing well all week­end,” said Ros­berg, who topped all three prac­tice ses­sions as well. “We had good bal­ance in the car, I was feel­ing com­fort­able and that’s what al­lowed me to put in a lap like that.”

Fer­rari’s Kimi Raikko­nen was a close third fol­lowed by team­mate Se­bas­tian Vet­tel, who takes a three-place grid penalty hang­ing over from last week­end’s Malaysian Grand Prix and will start sev­enth.

Red Bull pair Max Ver­stap­pen and Daniel Ric­cia­rdo qual­i­fied fifth and sixth.

With five races re­main­ing, Ros­berg holds a 23-point lead over Hamil­ton, who is seek­ing a third straight vic­tory in Ja­pan.

Hamil­ton will be look­ing to bounce back from the dis­ap­point­ment of Malaysia where his en­gine failed while he was lead­ing the race.

“I’m happy with qual­i­fy­ing,” Hamil­ton said. “It’s been a week of a lot of work to get the car right and there were some big changes so con­sid­er­ing that I am happy to be as close as I am. His­tory has shown that you don’t have to be on pole here to win.”

Ros­berg started the pre­vi­ous two races at Suzuka from pole po­si­tion only to be over­taken by Hamil­ton.

Force In­dia’s Ser­gio Perez was sev­enth fastest and Haas driver Ro­main Gros­jean was eighth, just ahead of the sec­ond Force In­dia of Nico Hulken­berg. Es­te­ban Gu­tier­rez of Haas rounded out the top 10.

Mo­tor-sport

This week over 40 lo­cal and for­eign driv­ers raced in the Hill Climb by Thomas Smith at Ta’ Pen­nellu Hill, Mel­lieha. Weather and road con­di­tions were both ideal, re­sult­ing in some ex­cel­lent timings from the par­tic­i­pants.

Tak­ing first place was Michael Pace in his 1975 Honda Civic with a time of 55,825 sec­onds. In sec­ond place was Joseph Mif­sud in a 1969 Hill­man Imp and plac­ing third was Clif­ford De­bono in a 1970 Tri­umph Vitesse.

The Malta Clas­sic week­end con­tin­ues with the Malta Clas­sic Grand Prix by Chopard. To­day, packs of 8 to 10 cars take to the cir­cuit in a thrilling race to the fin­ish line, as the un­for­giv­ing na­ture of the Malta Clas­sic cir­cuit brings out the very best of per­for­mance by both driv­ers and their clas­sic rac­ing au­to­mo­biles.

The win­ner of the Grand Prix will re­ceive the cov­eted Malta Clas­sic Tro­phy, de­signed and hand­crafted by Md­ina Glass, and a lim­ited edi­tion Mille Miglia Chrono­graph by Chopard, ex­clu­sively avail­able at Ed­wards Low­ell Bou­tiques in Val­letta and St Ju­lians.

New at the 2016 Malta Clas­sic Grand Prix by Chopard is a de­light­ful ex­hi­bi­tion area in the Md­ina Ditch, of­fer­ing free games for chil­dren, vin­tage food trucks, cock­tail bars, and even a vin­tage bar­ber­shop! A live mu­sic stage in the nearby Tomba Gar­dens will add to the event’s vin­tage vibes with per­for­mances by a jazz duo, 60’s quar­tet and swing quin­tet. A free shut­tle will trans­port spec­ta­tors from ex­hi­bi­tion ar­eas to the cir­cuit, whilst those ar­riv­ing in pre-1980’s clas­sic cars may make use of the free Clas­sic Car Park, con­ve­niently lo­cated on the Mtarfa By­pass.

The Malta Clas­sic is spon­sored by Malta’s lead­ing lux­ury and life­style brands, in­clud­ing Chopard, Md­ina Glass, Thomas Smith, Shell, BMW, Sul­li­van Mar­itime, Far­sons, At­tard& Co., The Point, Pjaz­za­Tigne, Good Earth, Busy Bee, Air­swift Couri­ers, Atrium, Bill­board Ad­ver­tis­ing, Karl Borg Events and Al­berta. This event is also made pos­si­ble by the sup­port of Sport Malta, the Malta Tourism Au­thor­ity, Md­ina Lo­cal Coun­cil, Ra­bat Lo­cal Coun­cil, Mtarfa Lo­cal Coun­cil, Mel­lieha Lo­cal Coun­cil and Trans­port Malta.

Some of those who took part in yes­ter­day’s Malta Clas­sic Hill Climb at Mel­lieha Photo: Rusty’s mag­a­zine

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