Front row the target for Alonso in qualifying

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Fernando Alonso is looking to improve his qualifying form having set himself the target of a front row start for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

“On my lap on the medium tires, I did not have the right balance,” Alonso said. “Otherwise I could have managed to improve, as I did on the hards and I could probably have been on the front row.”

Alonso finished fourth in both practice sessions on Friday, and the Ferrari driver believes that the team can learn more from this weekend than they did in Australia.

“Today the car worked well in all conditions and that is very good news for us. This circuit is more representative than Australia for evaluating the car’s performance and so it was important to understand here today if the positive feelings from the winter were not just an illusion.”

Many drivers and teams are hoping that the forecast rain will not interrupt proceedings in Malaysia after last weekend’s race faced long delays. The race is held in monsoon season, making showers likely, and Alonso was aware of the changeable conditions.

“We must see how tomorrow goes, when it could rain at any moment and on a track where tire degradation is much higher than in Melbourne.”

Ferrari showed impressive pace in Australia, and Alonso finished a strong P2 after qualifying fifth. If he is able to qualify strongly in Malaysia, he will certainly be in the running to repeat his victory from last year at the Sepang International Circuit. His qualifying form was the weak link in his 2012 championship challenge, having claimed just two pole positions, and he has not started on the front row since the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

MRTI: Telitz gets creative to help racing career

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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To say that Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz has endured a difficult start to the 2018 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season would be an understatement. The Wisconsin native only completed four corners through the first three races – Races 1 and 2 at St. Petersburg, and Race 1 at Barber Motorsports Park – with St. Pete being especially problematic.

He took the pole for Race 1, but a crash during qualifying for Race 2 prevented him from actually starting. What’s more, the damage was so severe that the Belardi team needed a brand new chassis, with Telitz’s Dallara IL-15 damaged beyond repair.

They also had to borrow a car from Carlin for Race 2, but Telitz’s race ended after he got tangled up with Victor Franzoni in Turn 2 on Lap 1.

With the damage bill well into the six figures as a result, Telitz has taken to some unique, or rather, creative ways to raise money in the aftermath to help cover the costs. “Creative,” in this case, meaning Telitz is using his art skills.

An artist in his spare time, Telitz has begun selling his own original paintings to help raise money.

 “I’ve been to a lot of art shows and I see stuff and I go, ‘Holy cow, someone’s going to pay a thousand dollars for that thing?’” Telitz quipped in a story posted on the Milwaukee Journal.

In discussing his artistic abilities, Telitz added, “I’m working at getting better. I’d like to be able to paint some animals, those types of things. I got a request from Alexander Rossi to see if I could paint his dog. Unfortunately I can’t do that yet.”

Further, in a partnership with The Styled Garage, Telitz is selling his own merchandise, and accepting donations, to help his cause.

Telitz finished fourth in Race 2 at Barber on Sunday, and sits seventh in the Indy Lights championship, 59 points behind leader Pato O’Ward.

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