Vergne grabs another two poles

Jean-Eric Vergne set himself up perfectly to clinch the British Formula 3 championship this weekend by claiming a pair of pole positions in a dramatic qualifying session at Silverstone this morning

Vergne grabs another two poles

The 30-minute session began in wet but drying conditions, but with rain holding off the track just got quicker and quicker in the closing stages.

The three drivers that best timed their final quick laps on slicks were the trio that topped the timesheet. Frenchman Vergne (Carlin) struggled in the wet, but claimed the top spot for tomorrow's 40-minute 'feature' race with a 1m45.944s best, nearly a second clear of Hitech's Will Buller. Vergne's second best time (1m47.869s) was good enough to give him pole for race one today as well.

Northern Irishman Buller produced his best qualifying performance of the season in the tricky conditions to go second, but is under investigation for apparent irregularities with his pitstops during the session.

Vergne's Carlin team-mate Adriano Buzaid set the third fastest time to equal his best performance of the season at Thruxton last weekend.

Racing Steps Foundation driver James Calado (Carlin) got baulked by traffic and ended up fourth fastest, a disappointing outcome after dominating practice yesterday and trading fastest times with Vergne as the track dried out this morning.

Fortec Motorsport led the way when the drivers switched from wets to slicks midway through the session, but struggled a little as the track dried out. Oli Webb managed fifth fastest time near the end, but team-mate Daniel McKenzie wound up down in 11th.

F3 rookie Rupert Svendsen-Cook did a solid job to round out the top six, ahead of Carlin team-mate Lucas Foresti. The Brazilian was right in the mix until a sequence of late improvements at the death.

T-Sport's Alex Brundle also timed his final run well and delivered his best qualifying performance of the year to go eighth, while his National Class team-mate Menasheh Idafar lapped inside the top six in wet conditions, before ending up an impressive 12th fastest out of 24 runners.

Hitech's Gabriel Dias and Raikkonen Robertson's Daisuke Nakajima completed the top 10. Nakajima's Raikkonen Robertson team-mates Felipe Nasr and Carlos Huertas were quick in the wet, but slumped to 15th and 17th respectively as the track dried out and they struggled to improve.

Carlin's Jazeman Jaafar crashed in the complex during his first hot lap on slicks in the second half of the session, so wound up 23rd, just ahead of series debutant Yann Cunha (Manor), who also went off.

Race one grid: Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap 1. Jean-Eric Vergne Carlin D/V 1m47.869s 2. Lucas Foresti Carlin D/V 1m48.530s + 0.661s 3. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin D/V 1m48.609s + 0.740s 4. James Calado Carlin D/V 1m48.823s + 0.954s 5. Adriano Buzaid Carlin D/V 1m48.910s + 1.041s 6. Oli Webb Fortec D/M 1m49.558s + 1.689s 7. Felipe Nasr Raikkonen Robertson D/M 1m50.020s + 2.151s 8. Carlos Huertas Raikkonen Robertson D/M 1m50.403s + 2.534s 9. Daisuke Nakajima Raikkonen Robertson D/M 1m50.556s + 2.687s 10. William Buller Hitech D/V 1m50.649s + 2.780s 11. Alex Brundle T-Sport D/V 1m50.689s + 2.820s 12. Menasheh Idafar T-Sport D/H 1m50.738s + 2.869s 13. Gabriel Dias Hitech D/V 1m50.816s + 2.947s 14. Carlos Munoz Mucke D/M 1m51.157s + 3.288s 15. Pietro Fantin Hitech D/V 1m51.302s + 3.433s 16. Daniel McKenzie Fortec D/M 1m51.452s + 3.583s 17. Hywel Lloyd CF/Manor D/M 1m51.521s + 3.652s 18. Jay Bridger Litespeed D/M 1m51.666s + 3.797s 19. James Cole T-Sport D/H 1m53.286s + 5.417s 20. Maxim Snegirev Fortec D/M 1m53.724s + 5.855s 21. Adderly Fong Sino Vision D/M 1m54.287s + 6.418s 22. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin D/V 1m56.718s + 8.849s 23. Juan Carlos Sistos West-Tec D/H 1m58.006s + 10.137s 24. Yann Cunha Manor D/M 1m59.756s + 11.887s Race three grid: Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap 1. Jean-Eric Vergne Carlin D/V 1m45.944s 2. Adriano Buzaid Carlin D/V 1m47.114s + 1.170s 3. James Calado Carlin D/V 1m47.368s + 1.424s 4. Oli Webb Fortec D/M 1m47.770s + 1.826s 5. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin D/V 1m47.936s + 1.992s 6. Lucas Foresti Carlin D/V 1m48.100s + 2.156s 7. Alex Brundle T-Sport D/V 1m48.836s + 2.892s 8. William Buller Hitech D/V 1m48.936s + 2.992s 9. Gabriel Dias Hitech D/V 1m49.218s + 3.274s 10. Daisuke Nakajima Raikkonen Robertson D/M 1m49.511s + 3.567s 11. Daniel McKenzie Fortec D/M 1m49.543s + 3.599s 12. Menasheh Idafar T-Sport D/H 1m49.582s + 3.638s 13. Carlos Munoz Mucke D/M 1m49.672s + 3.728s 14. Jay Bridger Litespeed D/M 1m49.867s + 3.923s 15. Felipe Nasr Raikkonen Robertson D/M 1m49.900s + 3.956s 16. Pietro Fantin Hitech D/V 1m49.915s + 3.971s 17. Carlos Huertas Raikkonen Robertson D/M 1m50.275s + 4.331s 18. Hywel Lloyd CF/Manor D/M 1m50.592s + 4.648s 19. James Cole T-Sport D/H 1m51.167s + 5.223s 20. Maxim Snegirev Fortec D/M 1m51.390s + 5.446s 21. Adderly Fong Sino Vision D/M 1m52.810s + 6.866s 22. Juan Carlos Sistos West-Tec D/H 1m54.722s + 8.778s 23. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin D/V 1m56.607s + 10.663s 24. Yann Cunha Manor D/M 1m58.509s + 12.565s 
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