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Wickens takes Nurburgring pole

Robert Wickens, Carlin, Nurburgring 2011Robert Wickens claimed his third Formula Renault 3.5 pole position of the season at the Nurburgring on Saturday morning.

The Carlin driver has been fastest in every session so far, and was the only man to break the 1m45s mark.

A low aero configuration is mandatory during dry running on Saturdays, but today's session was declared wet shortly after the midway point owing to a brief light rain shower. A mass pitstop ensued, where drivers took the opportunity to apply more wing angle. Slick tyres remained prevalent, however.

Fortec's Alexander Rossi will join Wickens on the front row of this afternoon's race. The Aragon winner showed no ill affects from his heavy accident at Monaco last month.

"My ankle recovered pretty quickly," said Rossi. "I was just getting headaches for about a week after the crash, which made training difficult, but I feel fine now. I am so pleased to be back on the pace for qualifying."

After building up to speed in practice, Tech 1 Racing's Kevin Korjus again delivered in qualifying to take third. The 18-year-old Formula Renault Eurocup champion edged out Daniel Ricciardo (ISR) by just 0.052s.

Championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne was fifth fastest for Carlin, and the Frenchman will be joined on the third row this afternoon by Rossi's Fortec team-mate Cesar Ramos.

Series returnee - and 2009 championship runner-up - Fairuz Fauzy took eighth for his family Mofaz team. The Malaysian has stepped in after previous incumbent Chris van der Drift encountered budget difficulties. Brazilian rookie Andre Negrao celebrated his birthday by claiming a solid 10th.

Negrao's Draco team-mate Stephane Richelmi caused the session to be red-flagged following an incident at Turn 6. As a consequence, the Monegasque had his fastest time deleted and drops to 24th, one place ahead of 2011 season debutant Michael Herck (Pons).

Pos  Driver             Team             Time       Gap
 1.  Robert Wickens     Carlin           1m44.782s
 2.  Alexander Rossi    Fortec           1m45.147s  + 0.365s
 3.  Kevin Korjus       Tech 1           1m45.415s  + 0.633s
 4.  Daniel Ricciardo   ISR              1m45.467s  + 0.685s
 5.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Carlin           1m45.578s  + 0.796s
 6.  Cesar Ramos        Fortec           1m45.776s  + 0.994s
 7.  Nathanael Berthon  ISR              1m45.815s  + 1.033s
 8.  Fairuz Fauzy       Mofaz            1m45.822s  + 1.040s
 9.  Nelson Panciatici  KMP              1m46.276s  + 1.494s
10.  Andre Negrao       Draco            1m46.434s  + 1.652s
11.  Walter Grubmuller  P1               1m46.435s  + 1.653s
12.  Brendon Hartley    Gravity-Charouz  1m46.493s  + 1.711s
13.  Sergio Canamasas   BVM Target       1m46.506s  + 1.724s
14.  Jake Rosenzweig    Mofaz            1m46.512s  + 1.730s
15.  Oliver Webb        Pons             1m46.552s  + 1.770s
16.  Albert Costa       Epic             1m46.573s  + 1.791s
17.  Daniil Move        P1               1m46.576s  + 1.794s
18.  Sten Pentus        Epic             1m46.754s  + 1.972s
19.  Arthur Pic         Tech 1           1m46.821s  + 2.039s
20.  Jan Charouz        Gravity-Charouz  1m46.901s  + 2.119s
21.  Daniel Zampieri    BVM Target       1m46.968s  + 2.186s
22.  Anton Nebylitskiy  KMP              1m47.037s  + 2.255s
23.  Michael Herck      Pons             1m47.353s  + 2.571s
24.  Stephane Richelmi  Draco            1m47.455s  + 2.673s
25.  Daniel de Jong     Comtec           1m47.666s  + 2.884s
26.  Daniel McKenzie    Comtec           1m48.457s  + 3.675s
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