Vanthoor claims first Euro F3 pole

Laurens Vanthoor took his first pole position in the Formula 3 Euro Series at Brands Hatch on Friday, leading a 1-2-3 for the Signature-Volkswagen team

Vanthoor claims first Euro F3 pole

The Belgian snatched the top spot from his team-mate Marco Wittmann with three minutes remaining. Wittmann had held provisional pole since the middle of the session, and had just improved on his own time a few seconds before Vanthoor knocked him back.

Championship leader Edoardo Mortara, who had taken pole position in the previous four qualifying sessions this year, had to settle for third behind his two less experienced team-mates.

A Signature walkover had not seemed likely in the first part of the session, when ART's Valtteri Bottas was setting the pace.

With 11 minutes gone the Finn was on a lap that was then on course to extend his advantage at the front, but he crashed at McLaren, ending his participation for the day.

Bottas, who had been fastest in free practice this morning, was then a spectator as his rivals tried to beat his time. He was eventually pushed back to fifth when Prema's Daniel Juncadella joined the Signature drivers in getting ahead of him.

The third row of the grid will be an all-ART affair. Alexander Sims had another difficult qualifying session, and he could not better the early lap from Bottas, leaving him sixth.

The third ART car was also in the wars, as Jim Pla caused a red flag when he had a dramatic crash at Paddock Hill Bend. The Frenchman's car went into the gravel trap backwards, and it then rolled as it dug in to the run-off area.

After a lengthy extrication process, Pla was taken to the medical centre for a check-up. He was reported to have suffered no serious injuries.

The session restarted with just two minutes remaining, but that was not long enough to enable anybody at the front to better their times.

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap 1. Laurens Vanthoor Signature D/V 40.696s 2. Marco Wittmann Signature D/V 40.727s + 0.031s 3. Edoardo Mortara Signature D/V 40.804s + 0.108s 4. Daniel Juncadella Prema D/M 40.839s + 0.143s 5. Valtteri Bottas ART D/M 40.873s + 0.177s 6. Alexander Sims ART D/M 40.937s + 0.241s 7. Matias Laine Motopark D/V 40.952s + 0.256s 8. Carlos Munoz Mucke D/M 41.030s + 0.334s 9. Roberto Merhi Mucke D/M 41.061s + 0.365s 10. Mika Maki Motopark D/V 41.072s + 0.376s 11. Jim Pla ART D/M 41.112s + 0.416s 12. Nicolas Marroc Prema D/M 41.192s + 0.496s 13. Antonio Felix da Costa Motopark D/V 41.194s + 0.498s 
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