Webb snatches pole from Vergne
|By Ben Anderson||Saturday, July 17th 2010, 10:50 GMT|
Oli Webb has drastically improved his chances of reducing championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne's points advantage by topping the times in British Formula 3 qualifying at Rockingham this morning.
The British Fortec racer struggled in yesterday's windswept test session, but some overnight head scratching and improved conditions today allowed Webb to set the pace and claim pole for today's first 30-minute race and tomorrow's 40-minute 'feature' event.
He left it late though, toppling his chief Carlin rival Vergne from the top spot with just six minutes of the session remaining. Webb's 1m12.147s edged him 0.146s clear at the head of the times and he underlined his and Fortec's improved form by setting another time good enough for pole.
"That was really good," said Webb. "We struggled a bit yesterday, did what you're supposed to do in testing and tested lots of things and were in the top three by the end, but we knew it [qualifying] was going to be hard.
"The whole team worked really, really hard overnight, the track is a lot better and the wind is down, so it suits us a lot more. Hopefully we can go on and get a couple of wins now."
Raikkonen Robertson Racing always goes well at Rockingham and underlined that fact by locking out row two in this qualifying session. Colombian Carlos Huertas set third fastest time, little more than half a tenth of a second clear of reigning Formula BMW champion Felipe Nasr.
Fellow Brazilian Pietro Fantin produced an impressive performance on his British F3 debut to go fifth quickest for Hitech, just ahead of Carlin duo Adriano Buzaid, Jazeman Jaafar.
Hitech's Gabriel Dias, Carlin's James Calado, and Raikkonen Robertson's Daisuke Nakajima rounded out the top 10.
Race one grid: Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap 1. Oli Webb Fortec D/M 1m12.271s 2. Carlos Huertas Raikkonen Robertson D/M 1m12.378s + 0.107s 3. Jean-Eric Vergne Carlin D/V 1m12.439s + 0.168s 4. Felipe Nasr Raikkonen Robertson D/M 1m12.498s + 0.227s 5. James Calado Carlin D/V 1m12.531s + 0.260s 6. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin D/V 1m12.593s + 0.322s 7. Gabriel Dias Hitech D/V 1m12.633s + 0.362s 8. Daisuke Nakajima Raikkonen Robertson D/M 1m12.750s + 0.479s 9. William Buller Hitech D/V 1m12.774s + 0.503s 10. Adriano Buzaid Carlin D/V 1m12.788s + 0.517s 11. Pietro Fantin Hitech D/V 1m12.816s + 0.545s 12. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin D/V 1m12.884s + 0.613s 13. Lucas Foresti Carlin D/V 1m12.907s + 0.636s 14. Daniel McKenzie Fortec D/M 1m13.241s + 0.970s 15. James Cole T-Sport D/H 1m13.379s + 1.108s 16. Menasheh Idafar T-Sport D/H 1m13.391s + 1.120s 17. Alex Brundle T-Sport D/V 1m13.425s + 1.154s 18. Hywel Lloyd CF/Manor D/M 1m13.485s + 1.214s 19. Maxim Snegirev Fortec D/M 1m13.546s + 1.275s 20. Jay Bridger Litespeed D/M 1m13.607s + 1.336s 21. Adderly Fong Sino Vision D/M 1m13.764s + 1.493s Race three grid: Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap 1. Oli Webb Fortec D/M 1m12.147s 2. Jean-Eric Vergne Carlin D/V 1m12.293s + 0.146s 3. Carlos Huertas Raikkonen Robertson D/M 1m12.294s + 0.147s 4. Felipe Nasr Raikkonen Robertson D/M 1m12.359s + 0.212s 5. Pietro Fantin Hitech D/V 1m12.461s + 0.314s 6. Adriano Buzaid Carlin D/V 1m12.463s + 0.316s 7. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin D/V 1m12.504s + 0.357s 8. Gabriel Dias Hitech D/V 1m12.520s + 0.373s 9. James Calado Carlin D/V 1m12.522s + 0.375s 10. Daisuke Nakajima Raikkonen Robertson D/M 1m12.663s + 0.516s 11. William Buller Hitech D/V 1m12.667s + 0.520s 12. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin D/V 1m12.763s + 0.616s 13. Lucas Foresti Carlin D/V 1m12.865s + 0.718s 14. Daniel McKenzie Fortec D/M 1m12.874s + 0.727s 15. Hywel Lloyd CF/Manor D/M 1m13.225s + 1.078s 16. Menasheh Idafar T-Sport D/H 1m13.266s + 1.119s 17. Adderly Fong Sino Vision D/M 1m13.287s + 1.140s 18. Alex Brundle T-Sport D/V 1m13.312s + 1.165s 19. James Cole T-Sport D/H 1m13.369s + 1.222s 20. Maxim Snegirev Fortec D/M 1m13.466s + 1.319s 21. Jay Bridger Litespeed D/M 1m13.550s + 1.403s