Vergne takes two poles at Oulton

Jean-Eric Vergne will make his British Formula 3 debut starting from pole position, after setting the fastest times in qualifying at Oulton Park this morning

Vergne takes two poles at Oulton

Under British F3's new-for-2010 race format, where a driver's two fastest times from one 30-minute qualifying session set the grids for races one and three, all the runners needed two good laps to give themselves the best chance of qualifying well.

Red Bull-backed Carlin driver Vergne managed the situation best, setting three times good enough for pole in his Dallara-Volkswagen and therefore immediately earning two poles.

The session began on damp, but drying track, so the first 20 minutes of qualifying became a largely irrelevant circuit-cleaning exercise.

Vergne's Carlin team-mate Rupert Svendsen-Cook headed the times at that stage, and traded the top spot with Vergne in the late stages as the track began to come good.

Inevitably pole would go to the driver who hooked up the best lap at the very death of the session, and that's when Vergne unleashed the full extent of his speed to claim the top spot.

With 60 seconds remaining, the Frenchman led the way on a 1m28.810s best and then banged in a 1m28.872s time on his next lap to annex both poles. Vergne improved to a 1m28.751s on his final tour to underline his superiority around the Cheshire parkland circuit.

Similarly last-gasp efforts from Raikkonen Robertson's Carlos Huertas and Fortec's Oli Webb vaulted them to second and third in the times, both just under three tenths adrift of Vergne's best.

Early pacesetter Svendsen-Cook ended the session fourth fastest, a further tenth back, and a tenth clear of the impressive Jay Bridger, who produced his best ever British F3 qualifying performance to go fifth in his ex-ART Dallara-Mercedes.

Hitech's Gabriel Dias rounded out the top six, ahead of Carlin's Adriano Buzaid (whose fire extinguisher went off unexpectedly early on in the session), Welsh privateer Hywel Lloyd, and Raikkonen Robertson's Daisuke Nakajima. T-Sport's Formula 2 defector Alex Brundle completed the top 10 on the timesheet.

Carlin's James Calado suffered a differential failure during the crucial late portion of the session, so wound up 14th fastest, while reigning Formula BMW Europe champion Felipe Nasr totalled his car after only a handful of laps and wound up last of the 20 runners.

Race one qualifying:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap 1. Jean-Eric Vergne Carlin D/V 1m28.810s 2. Oli Webb Fortec D/M 1m29.086s +0.276s 3. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin D/V 1m29.269s +0.459s 4. Carlos Huertas Raikkonen Robertson D/M 1m29.316s +0.506s 5. Adriano Buzaid Carlin D/V 1m29.657s +0.847s 6. Jay Bridger Litespeed D/M 1m29.907s +1.097s 7. Hywel Lloyd CF/Manor D/M 1m30.025s +1.215s 8. Daisuke Nakajima Raikkonen Robertson D/M 1m30.147s +1.337s 9. Jazeman Jarfar Carlin D/V 1m30.159s +1.349s 10. Gabriel Dias Hitech D/V 1m30.276s +1.466s 11. Alex Brundle T-Sport D/V 1m30.611s +1.801s 12. William Buller Hitech D/V 1m30.664s +1.854s 13. Daniel McKenzie Fortec D/M 1m30.726s +1.916s 14. Menasheh Idafar T-Sport D/H 1m31.388s +2.578s 15. James Calado Carlin D/V 1m31.568s +2.758s 16. James Cole T-Sport D/H 1m31.648s +2.838s 17. Max Snegirev Fortec D/M 1m31.854s +3.044s 18. Adderley Fong Sino Vision D/M 1m33.185s +4.375s 19. Lucas Foresti Carlin D/V 1m34.251s +5.441s 20. Felipe Nasr Raikkonen Robertson D/M no time 
 
Race three qualifying: Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap 1. Jean-Eric Vergne Carlin D/V 1m28.751s 2. Carlos Huertas Raikkonen Robertson D/M 1m29.028s +0.277s 3. Oli Webb Fortec D/M 1m29.044s +0.293s 4. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin D/V 1m29.104s +0.353s 5. Jay Bridger Litespeed D/M 1m29.272s +0.521s 6. Gabriel Dias Hitech D/V 1m29.495s +0.744s 7. Adriano Buzaid Carlin D/V 1m29.549s +0.798s 8. Hywel Lloyd CF/Manor D/M 1m29.843s +1.092s 9. Daisuke Nakajima Raikkonen Robertson D/M 1m30.010s +1.259s 10. Alex Brundle T-Sport D/V 1m30.049s +1.298s 11. William Buller Hitech D/V 1m30.066s +1.315s 12. Jazeman Jarfar Carlin D/V 1m30.126s +1.375s 13. Daniel McKenzie Fortec D/M 1m30.452s +1.701s 14. James Calado Carlin D/V 1m31.097s +2.346s 15. Menasheh Idafar T-Sport D/H 1m31.277s +2.526s 16. James Cole T-Sport D/H 1m31.559s +2.808s 17. Max Snegirev Fortec D/M 1m31.803s +3.052s 18. Adderley Fong Sino Vision D/M 1m32.921s +4.170s 19. Lucas Foresti Carlin D/V 1m33.408s +4.657s 20. Felipe Nasr Raikkonen Robertson D/M no time 
 
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British F3 2010: Runners and riders

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