Spa European F3: Ocon swipes pole from Verstappen
|By Marcus Simmons||Friday, June 20th 2014, 12:48 GMT|
Formula 3 European Championship leader Esteban Ocon edged Max Verstappen for pole position for the first of this weekend's races at Spa by just 0.061 seconds.
Free-practice pacesetter Verstappen, who had never driven the Belgian circuit in the dry before this morning, was top for most of the session before Ocon popped in the pole lap with five minutes remaining.
It was a good session for Prema Powerteam - as well as its Lotus junior Ocon, the team's Ferrari protege Antonio Fuoco continued his good form by moving his Dallara-Mercedes into third place in the closing minutes.
And it was also a strong performance from Van Amersfoort Racing - along with Verstappen, the Volkswagen-powered team got its American racer Gustavo Menezes into fifth place, his best performance yet.
Sneaking in among these frontrunners was Lucas Auer, who bounced back from gearbox problems that forced him to sit out almost the entire first free practice session to take fourth place on the grid in his Mucke Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes.
Tom Blomqvist languished a long way down the order for most of the session, but the Jagonya Ayam with Carlin man thrust himself up to sixth at the end, just pipping Felix Rosenqvist's Mucke machine and the second Carlin runner, Jake Dennis.
Felix Serralles, the polesitter here in 2012 on the European championship's last visit to the Ardennes, took ninth place with Team West-Tec, while the NBE-engined T-Sport car of Alexander Toril rounded out the top 10.
A shock slowest of all was Jordan King, who will start 25th after a puncture stranded him out on the track in the closing stages.
King will start ahead of Dennis van de Laar: the Dutchman is sitting out both qualifying sessions after his tub was damaged in a free practice crash. He spun at Pouhon and Spike Goddard was unable to avoid him.
Neither driver was injured, and the Prema team will decide whether it can repair van de Laar's car for this weekend's races.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Esteban Ocon Prema Dallara-Merc 2m10.049s 2. Max Verstappen Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW 2m10.110s +0.061s 3. Antonio Fuoco Prema Dallara-Merc 2m10.225s +0.176s 4. Lucas Auer Mucke Dallara-Merc 2m10.340s +0.291s 5. Gustavo Menezes Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW 2m10.572s +0.523s 6. Tom Blomqvist Carlin Dallara-VW 2m10.601s +0.552s 7. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Merc 2m10.625s +0.576s 8. Jake Dennis Carlin Dallara-VW 2m10.659s +0.610s 9. Felix Serralles West-Tec Dallara-Merc 2m10.834s +0.785s 10. Alexander Toril T-Sport Dallara-NBE 2m10.933s +0.884s 11. Nicholas Latifi Prema Dallara-Merc 2m10.976s +0.927s 12. Jules Szymkowiak Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW 2m10.983s +0.934s 13. Antonio Giovinazzi Carlin Dallara-VW 2m11.123s +1.074s 14. Mitchell Gilbert Fortec Dallara-Merc 2m11.411s +1.362s 15. Felipe Guimaraes Double R Dallara-Merc 2m11.553s +1.504s 16. Santino Ferrucci Eurointernational Dallara-Merc 2m11.576s +1.527s 17. Spike Goddard T-Sport Dallara-NBE 2m11.623s +1.574s 18. Roy Nissany Mucke Dallara-Merc 2m11.770s +1.721s 19. Tatiana Calderon Jo Zeller Dallara-Merc 2m11.811s +1.762s 20. Sean Gelael Carlin Dallara-VW 2m11.813s +1.764s 21. John Bryant-Meisner Fortec Dallara-Merc 2m11.854s +1.805s 22. Hector Hurst West-Tec Dallara-Merc 2m12.218s +2.169s 23. Michele Beretta Eurointernational Dallara-Merc 2m12.406s +2.357s 24. Sandro Zeller Jo Zeller Dallara-Merc 2m12.630s +2.581s 25. Jordan King Carlin Dallara-VW 2m12.753s +2.704s