Japanese Formula 3 champion Carlo van Dam claimed a last-gasp pole position for the Macau Grand Prix on Friday after a thrilling qualifying session.
The Dutchman grabbed the top spot from Briton Sam Bird in the final seconds of an incident-packed session where the result was in doubt until the end.
The shoot out for pole position came down to the final lap, after a late red flag period caused when Kei Cozzolino crashed heavily at Fishermen's Bend.
Bird had moved to the top of the timesheets just seconds before that incident, and there were less than four minutes left on the clock when qualifying resumed.
Stefano Coletti spun and blocked the track at Police, so only the cars ahead of him on the road got to complete their last-gasp efforts. Van Dam got his timing perfect to edge out Bird by 0.142 seconds and his TOM'S teammate Keisuke Kunimoto moved up to third.
Edoardo Mortara, who had been on provisional pole position from yesterday's session, ended up fourth, ahead of Roberto Streit and Roberto Merhi.
The session had been red flagged for the first time with 12 minutes to go when Jules Blianchi ran wide at Curva R. The Frenchman swiped the end of the tyre barrier, ripping off his left wheel rear - which flew into the middle of the track before coming to rest in a dangerous position.
Sam Bird lost out on his second place at the conclusion of the session when he had to take a three-place grid penalty for missing a call to weigh bridge during practice this morning. That promotes Kunimoto to second, alongside his TOM'S teammate van Dam, Mortara to third, Streit to fourth, and Bird will start tomorrow's qualification race fifth.
Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap 1. Carlo van Dam TOM'S D/T 2:11.846 2. Sam Bird Manor D/M 2:11.988 +0.142 3. Keisuke Kunimoto TOM'S D/T 2:12.039 +0.193 4. Edoardo Mortara Signature D/V 2:12.044 +0.198 5. Roberto Streit Double R D/M 2:12.061 +0.215 6. Roberto Merhi Hitech D/M 2:12.369 +0.523 7. Renger van der Zande Prema D/M 2:12.402 +0.556 8. Oliver Turvey Carlin D/M 2:12.404 +0.558 9. Jaime Alguersuari Carlin D/M 2:12.412 +0.566 10. James Jakes ART D/M 2:12.423 +0.577 11. Brendon Hartley Carlin D/M 2:12.573 +0.727 12. Stefano Coletti Prema D/M 2:12.835 +0.989 13. Max Chilton Hitech D/M 2:12.869 +1.023 14. Mika Maki Signature D/V 2:12.942 +1.096 15. Marcus Ericsson Carlin D/M 2:12.988 +1.142 16. Kazuya Oshima Manor D/M 2:13.110 +1.264 17. Jules Bianchi ART D/M 2:13.124 +1.278 18. Kei Cozzolino Now D/T 2:13.504 +1.658 19. Walter Grubmuller Hitech D/M 2:13.710 +1.864 20. Franky Cheng Signature D/V 2:13.777 +1.931 21. Daniel Campos-Hull HBR D/M 2:14.325 +2.479 22. James Winslow Ombra D/H 2:14.399 +2.553 23. Jon Lancaster Manor D/M 2:14.620 +2.774 24. Basil Shaaban HBR D/M 2:15.412 +3.566 25. Koki Saga Le Beausset D/T 2:15.969 +4.123 26. Atte Mustonen Double R D/M 2:16.029 +4.183 27. Michael Ho Double R D/M 2:18.606 +6.760 28. Massaki Matsushita PTRS/Ombra D/H 2:18.667 +6.821 29. Laurens Vanthoor RC D/V no time
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