NOVEMBER 20, 2004
Kubica grabs pole at Macau
Twenty-year-old Polish driver Robert Kubica has taken pole position at the Macau Grand Prix ahead of his Manor Motorsport team mate Lewis Hamilton. The two men were separated by two-tenths of a second but were clear of the rest of the pack, led by Richard Antinucci (TOM's Dallara-Toyota) and Nico Rosberg (Team Rosberg Dallara-Opel). Next was Nelson Piquet Jr (Piquet Sports Dallara-Mugen) who was just ahead of Eurocup winner Jamie Green (ASM Dallara-Mercedes). The top 10 was completed by Fabio Carbone (Three Bond Racing Dallara-Nissan), Alexandre Premat (ASM Dallara-Mercedes), Kazuki Nakajima (son of ex-F1 driver Satoru) in his TOM's Dallara-Toyota and Lucas di Grassi (Hitech Racing Dallara-Renault). There were disappointing performances from James Rossiter (Signature Dallara-Opel) and Adam Carroll (Menu Motorsport Dallara-Opel) who were only 17th and 18th.
The performance is a big boost to Kubica's career. The Pole started car racing in 2001 and did well enough to be picked to join the Renault Driver Development programme but was inexplicably dropped at the end of 2002. Instead he signed for Prema Racing in Formula 3 but his career hit a problem when he broke his arm badly in a road accident before the start of the season. He had 16 pins in his arm and had to sit out the first six races of the year. When he returned to racing he was wearing a plastic brace to support his arm but won in style at the tough Norisring circuit on his F3 debut, beating his team mate Ryan Briscoe (who went on to be champion). This year he switched to Mucke Motorsport but could do no better than seventh in the championship.
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