Brands GP qualifying: Courtney's g'day

Australian James Courtney turned his opposition upside down with a fair dinkum performance to take his first British Formula 3 Championship pole position at Brands Hatch this afternoon.

Brands GP qualifying: Courtney's g'day

The Jaguar Racing Dallara-Mugen ace, who was third fastest in the morning session, escaped from his neighbours in the first period timesheets to tie the pole position spot down, sport.

Courtney arguably should have had pole in the first session, in which he lost out to Takuma Sato (Carlin Motorsport) and Derek Hayes (Manor Motorsport). Unfortunately, the Jaguar boys had put fourth and fifth gears in the wrong way round, meaning he was having to select the 'wrong' gear on the fast corners and was unable to use the ignition-cutting powershift on the straights.

Nevertheless, he was stunning through the Dingle Dell chicane and it was no surprise that he set the fastest time later on.

"That was a little bit easier!" he joked after the second session. "The car was working really well and it all came good in the end."

Courtney also benefited from Jaguar's tactics in a session which started in light drizzle and dried out right at the end, meaning times tumbled on the last lap. He went out on a full dry set-up but on his first session tyres, swapping midway and scrubbing the newer rubber in on a drier circuit than other rivals.

Sato, fastest in the morning, also began on older tyres but was on a wet set-up, consigning him to fourth on the grid. Hayes, meanwhile, slumped from a morning second to seventh.

"We had absolutely no grip for the whole session - it felt wet throughout," said the Irishman.

Anthony Davidson was an out of sorts ninth this morning, lacking confidence after a big shunt at Westfield Bend during Tuesday's test. But he knuckled down in the afternoon and leapt to second on the grid for race two, feeling he could have had pole had he not been held up by Gianmaria Bruni.

Mark Taylor, team-mate to Hayes at Manor Motorsport, put himself up into third in the afternoon, while Paul Edwards revived his early season form to take a brace of fifths.

Andre Lotterer, in the second Jaguar Dallara, was in the top six both times too, dialling himself back in after testing for the sister Formula 1 squad at Monza this week.

Missing from action this weekend are Matt Davies (financial illness) and Ryan Dalziel (medical illness).

Top of the Scholarship Class was Robbie Kerr, who as expected shone on a true drivers' track such as the Grand Prix circuit to blitz his class opposition and set a remarkable 11th fastest time overall in the afternoon.





Takuma Sato (Carlin Motorsport Dallara-Mugen) 1m18.634s
Derek Hayes (Manor Motorsport Dallara-Mugen) 1m18.702s
James Courtney (Jaguar Racing Dallara-Mugen) 1m18.921s
Andre Lotterer (Jaguar Racing Dallara-Mugen) 1m18.967s
Paul Edwards (Alan Docking Racing Dallara-Mugen) 1m19.066s
Jamie Spence (Duma Racing Dallara-Mugen) 1m19.108s
Mark Taylor (Manor Motorsport Dallara-Mugen) 1m19.141s
Jeffrey Jones (Manor Motorsport Dallara-Mugen) 1m19.156s
Anthony Davidson (Carlin Motorsport Dallara-Mugen) 1m19.193s
Bruce Jouanny (Promatecme Dallara-Mugen) 1m19.336s
Robbie Kerr (Fred Goddard Racing Dallara-Renault)


Courtney 1m18.674s
Davidson 1m18.882s
Taylor 1m18.972s
Sato 1m18.995s
Edwards 1m19.038s
Lotterer 1m19.133s
Hayes 1m19.314s
Andy Priaulx (Alan Docking Racing Dallara-Mugen) 1m19.457s
Jouanny 1m19.746s
Spence 1m20.353s
Kerr

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