Qual: Perera takes Bahrain pole

The Formula 3 Euroseries and the Japanese championship had the best of qualifying for the Bahrain Superprix today, as Franck Perera took pole position ahead of Jamie Green and Fabio Carbone. McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner Paul di Resta starred for Manor Motorsport by qualifying fourth in his first competitive F3 outing.

Qual: Perera takes Bahrain pole

Perera (Prema Powerteam) will start from the front in the qualification race tomorrow morning, the result of which will determine the grid for the final in the afternoon. His time was a last-minute effort in a frantic ten minutes of action that was effectively the only time to go for grid slots.

Unusually for such an arid country, the weekend has been stalked by rain and extremely loud thunder. That meant that practice and this morning's first session were of little use ahead of the second qualifying- the first time all weekend that the track was dry. It was a level playing field as everyone is a circuit newcomer, and teams had few ideas about dry setups.

It was Perera who rose to the occasion and snatched pole from Green at the very end, but the ASM Euroseries champion said he was happy to be starting on the front row in such tricky circumstances. Former Marlboro Masters winner Carbone (of Japanese squad Three Bond Racing) added: "It's important to be up here and have a reliable run in the qualification race. It's also important because otherwise people forget I am still around!"



Di Resta was cool in claiming fourth after only a couple of days' experience in an F3 car. His team-mate Lewis Hamilton had a terrible day after damaging the underside of his car very early in the afternoon session. With an irreperable car he could only manage 22nd. Also unhappy will be Macau and Zandvoort winner Alexandre Prémat, who complained of massive oversteer. The ASM driver will have to work pretty hard for a hat-trick with a start position of 15th. British champion Nelson Angelo Piquet was also off the pace and starts 13th.

Two red flags ate into the session and reduced the track time. One was caused by top British series challenger James Rossiter, who stopped his broken Signature entry out on track early on. Rossiter will have to start at the back tomorrow. A late clash between Ernesto Viso and Karl Reindler caused the other stoppage.

Franck Perera (Dallara-Opel) 1m53.938s
Jamie Green (Dallara-Mercedes) +0.034s
Fabio Carbone (Dallara-Nissan) +0.140s
Paul di Resta (Dallara-Mercedes) +0.147s
Marko Asmer (Dallara-Mugen) +0.177s
Nico Rosberg (Dallara-Opel) +0.191s
Lucas di Grassi (Dallara-Renault) +0.197s
Kazuki Nakajima (Dallara-Toyota) +0.409s
Richard Antinucci (Dallara-Toyota) +0.495s
Eric Salignon (Dallara-Mercedes) +0.509s

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