Sims claims pole for F3 Masters

Alexander Sims maintained his strong form at Zandvoort to fend off ART team-mate Valterri Bottas' challenge and secure pole position for the Formula 3 Masters

Sims claims pole for F3 Masters

Sims had been quickest in both morning practice and first qualifying, and managed to improve his pole time to a 1m30.956s in the second qualifying session - 0.8 seconds faster than he had managed earlier.

Last year's Masters winner Bottas repeated his second place from the opening session, but this time the gap between the ART duo increased from 0.008s to 0.156s.

Signature's Edoardo Mortara dropped back from third in first qualifying to seventh in the final session, with his team-mate Marco Wittmann ending up as the ART pair's leading challenger, ahead of Mucke's Roberto Merhi and Carlos Munoz. That was despite Wittmann going off and causing a red flag late on - which left many drivers frustrated and claiming their best laps had been wrecked.

Fellow Mucke driver Nigel Melker put his practice crash thoroughly behind him to take sixth for his F3 debut, having raced in GP3 so far this year.

Behind Mortara, Jean-Eric Vergne was the top British F3 runner in eighth for Carlin, just ahead of Hitech's William Buller.

Qualifying two:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap 1. Alexander Sims ART D/M 1m30.956s 2. Valtteri Bottas ART D/M 1m31.112s + 0.156s 3. Marco Wittmann Signature D/V 1m31.463s + 0.507s 4. Roberto Merhi Mucke D/M 1m31.641s + 0.685s 5. Carlos Munoz Mucke D/M 1m31.667s + 0.711s 6. Nigel Melker Mucke D/M 1m31.687s + 0.731s 7. Edoardo Mortara Signature D/V 1m31.713s + 0.757s 8. Jean-Eric Vergne Carlin D/V 1m31.765s + 0.809s 9. William Buller Hitech D/V 1m31.780s + 0.824s 10. Jim Pla ART D/M 1m31.812s + 0.856s 11. Antonio Felix da Costa Motopark D/V 1m31.969s + 1.013s 12. Daniel Juncadella Prema D/M 1m31.993s + 1.037s 13. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin D/V 1m32.070s + 1.114s 14. Stef Dusseldorp Signature D/V 1m32.086s + 1.130s 15. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin D/V 1m32.125s + 1.169s 16. Gabriel Dias Hitech D/V 1m32.238s + 1.282s 17. Nicolas Marroc Prema D/M 1m32.430s + 1.474s 18. Lucas Foresti Carlin D/V 1m32.529s + 1.573s 19. Matias Laine Motopark D/V 1m32.569s + 1.613s 20. Hywel Lloyd CF/Manor D/M 1m32.777s + 1.821s 21. Rio Haryanto CF/Manor D/M 1m33.099s + 2.143s 22. Adderly Fong Sino Vision D/M 1m34.501s + 3.545s 23. Wayne Boyd Sino Vision D/M 1m34.798s + 3.842s 24. Laurens Vanthoor Signature D/V 
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