Croft qualifying: Hayes enters purple patch

Geri Halliwell may have been nowhere to be seen (thank the Lord - ed), but there was still plenty of ginger spice today at Croft in qualifying for tomorrow's British Formula 3 Championship races as Northern Irish redhead Derek Hayes took two pole positions

Croft qualifying: Hayes enters purple patch

Hayes, who runs second to Takuma Sato in the points, edged out the Japanese by 0.094secs on the first grid, and then beat fellow ginger-head (albeit considerably darker) Anthony Davidson in the second by the slightly larger margin of 0.128secs.

Hayes is bidding for a third consecutive title for the Manor Motorsport team, but had yet to put a pole position or win under his belt.

"It's just been a matter of time," he said. "I've been developing as a driver and it's come together at the right time. The team did a good job and I used my head."

Knowing that his consistent approach is not likely to pay dividends any longer, Hayes added: "To win the championship I now have to start winning races and that's my intention. The rest of the drivers might be afraid of Sato and whinging about him, but I'm not. I won't be running away from him."

Sato and Davidson notched up a Carlin Motorsport two-three in both sessions, albeit swapping round. It was a continuation of recent form for Davidson, another driver yet to win a race, and could have been better still. "I lost about a tenth and a half at Sunny on my quick lap in the first session," he said, implying that could have been good enough for pole.

Andy Priaulx put in his best dry-weather qualifying performance of the season to start fourth on the first grid for Alan Docking Racing, although he slumped to 10th later on. Yugoslav Milos Pavlovic experienced the reverse in his fortunes - only 13th in the first session, he took a best-ever fourth in the second for Team Avanti.

Like team-mate Matt Davies - who has gridded a disappointing 11th and 13th after clinching a late deal to attend this round with 25 minutes to spare before the deadline - Pavlovic's future is in doubt because of financial problems.

"This is with no testing, no money, and only one set of tyres for the test day, so I'm very pleased," smiled the smooth-driving Serb.

If Davies was in trouble, at least Jamie Spence upheld Essex fortunes, in the top six both times. Jaguar, though, had a bad time - James Courtney is fifth for race one, but Andre Lotterer is way down and feels he's losing all his time through a bizarre lack of empathy with the circuit's ultra-tight hairpin.

Robbie Kerr topped the Scholarship Class both times, although it wasn't all good news for him, as he has been stripped of his Oulton Park win last time out at a stewards' meeting today for taking out Championship Class runner Tim Spouge. Michael Keohane has inherited the victory.


1 Derek Hayes (Manor Motorsport Dallara-Mugen) 1:14.610
2 Takuma Sato (Carlin Motorsport Dallara-Mugen) 1:14.704
3 Anthony Davidson (Carlin Motorsport Dallara-Mugen) 1:14.712
4 Andy Priaulx (Alan Docking Racing Dallara-Mugen) 1:14.787
5 James Courtney (Jaguar Racing Dallara-Mugen) 1:14.828
6 Jamie Spence (Duma Racing Dallara-Mugen) 1:15.023
7 Jeffrey Jones (Manor Motorsport Dallara-Mugen) 1:15.035
8 Bruce Jouanny (Promatecme Dallara-Mugen) 1:15.129
9 Gianmaria Bruni (Fortec Renault Dallara-Renault) 1:15.137
10 Nicolas Kiesa (RC Motorsport Dallara-Opel) 1:15.198
Scholarship Class: Robbie Kerr (Fred Goddard Racing Dallara-Renault) 1:16.139


1 Hayes 1:14.258
2 Davidson 1:14.386
3 Sato 1:14.402
4 Milos Pavlovic (Team Avanti Dallara-Opel) 1:14.540
5 Spence 1:14.613
6 Kiesa 1:14.646
7 Jouanny 1:14.721
8 Bruni 1:14.733
9 Jones 1:14.840
10 Priaulx 1:14.851
Scholarship Class: Kerr 1:15.943

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