Klaas van Snelheid followed up his maiden win last weekend in Japan with his maiden pole position ahead of tomorrow's race in China, but there were shocks aplenty behind him as Arden Hutchinson qualified third for FIRST and Adrien Simon crashed out of qualifying.
Less than seven hundredths of a second separated the top three drivers in practice for the Chinese V-Prix as Adrien Simon led Klaas van Snelheid and Enrique Ruiz.
Lopez have confirmed reserve driver Viktor Ӧstberg will be given his first opportunity to drive the 2017 car during practice at the Chinese V-Prix. He will take the place of James Harding who is currently being reviewed after his incident with Judson Sikes in Japan.
Ӧstberg last drove an FV car when Lopez gave him the 2016 machine during the YDT at Jerez in December. After 2 days of running, he ran a respectable 11th fastest overall in a car that dropped off the face of the earth after Harding snagged the team's first pole position in Round 3.
Ӧstberg revealed he was 'delighted and thankful for the team' after they chose to continue with him over Drake Davies going into 2017 as the sole remaining youth academy driver, while Davies now rides in IndyVirtual for Aggies Racing. It is expected Ӧstberg will get the opportunity to compete in practice at various races during the season.
Rumours did arise that Ӧstberg would race in Japan for Wagner after his crash in Malaysia, but the 2015 champion proved himself fit as he went on to finish 5th in the race, hence continuing his streak along with Carson Davenport, Tumo Kinnumen, and Adrien Simon as drivers who have competed in every race since the series began in 2013.
Regarding the earlier news that Puccio Giodano was moving to Franklin to replace Jochem Van Snelheid for the rest of the season. Ocelot team principle Rai Miyamoto announced during a later press conference that Puccio would be remaining with the team for the 2018 season.
''I pleased to say that Puccio will still be remaining here for next season, it's an absolute delight to see him return, especially as the boys and girls in the factory love the effort and enthusiasm he brings to the team. We are strongly hoping to be quick next year so here's to developing a strong car next season.''
As for who will partner Puccio at Ocelot in 2018, that is still something the principle remained tight lipped about.
''Of course there are many valuable drivers out there such as Karl, Enzo and our upcoming youngsters. So i'll just say watch this space, as we will have another announcement soon.''
After a performance dubbed as "completely unacceptable" by Jamie Franklin, Franklin have revealed that current Ocelot driver, Puccio Giodano will replace Jochem Van Snelheid ahead of the Chinese V-Prix.
Nathaniel Powers has taken pole position for the Japanese V-Prix where he will share the front row with Enrique Ruiz, beating the Franklin driver by nearly half a second.
Enrique Ruiz was quickest in practice for the Japanese V-Prix ahead of Nathaniel Powers as the top twelve drivers were within one second of the fastest time.