Bernoldi claims pole

The Dallara Nissan World Series is set for a thrilling climax at Jarama after qualifying set up a great showdown for second position in the championship

Bernoldi claims pole

Former Arrows Formula 1 driver Enrique Bernoldi repeated his achievement from the first race of the season by taking pole position for race one to give himself a fighting chance of ending the year behind only Franck Montagny in the championship.

The GD Racing driver, who will start from second on the grid in race two, said: "We could tell from last week's test that we have a good set-up, but I still had to push very hard. We have a good car and I believe we can have a good race."

Pole for race two went to Gabord Competicion's Heikki Kovalainen, who was one of the few drivers to up his pace for the second session. With fourth position for race one, the Finn has a good chance of claiming the runner-up spot behind his team-mate Montagny, but he says taking his second win of the year is more important to him.

"Being second or third is not that important to be," he said. "I have to go out there for the win. I wasn't attacking that much on the lap, so maybe it's better to be relaxed around here."

Despite missing Friday's practice session, Montagny will start on the front row for the opening race. However, a small change to the car set-up for the second session proved to be a mistake and he will start in an unfamiliar ninth place.

"I want to end the season with the sensation of a win, but I'm not so confident as usual," he said. "I hope it rains tomorrow."

Felix Porteiro continued KTR's strong practice form by taking third on the grid for both races. His team-mate Paul Edwards was unable to repeat his best time from practice and will start seventh and 11th.

The other drivers fighting for second overall had a mixed day. Racing Engineering's Stephane Sarrazin starts eighth and sixth, Jean Christophe Ravier lines up ninth and fourth for Epsilon Euskadi, Narain Karthikeyan is still recovering from his recent tropical illness and had to settle for 10th and 17th in his Tata Team Carlin machine, while Bas Leinders has his work cut out from 13th and eighth. Bruno Besson entered the last round with a slim chance of ending the season second in the standings, but after qualifying 16th and 15th, he needs a massive change of fortune on Sunday.

Enrique Bernoldi GD Racing 1m22.648s
Franck Montagny Gabord Competicion 1m22.673s
Felix Porteiro KTR 1m22.858s
Heikki Kovalainen Gabord Competicion 1m23.004s
Bruce Jouanny Carlin Motorsport 1m23.042s
Polo Villaamil RC Motorsport 1m23.259s

Heikki Kovalainen Gabord Competicion 1m22.763s
Enrique Bernoldi GD Racing 1m23.014s
Felix Porteiro KTR 1m23.222s
Jean Christophe Ravier Epsilon Euskadi 1m23.354s
Bruce Jouanny Carlin Motorsport 1m23.371s
Stephane Sarrazin Racing Engineering 1m23.377s

Edwards surprises in practice
Previous article

Edwards surprises in practice

Next article

Joy for Bernoldi and Leinders

Joy for Bernoldi and Leinders
How the post-Renault 3.5 series is shaping up Plus

How the post-Renault 3.5 series is shaping up

When Renault ended its support of its 3.5 Formula, there were fears about the category's future. But as PETER MILLS explains, the rebadged FV8 3.5 series has retained an appeal to drivers

Formula V8 3.5
Feb 3, 2016
The all-time FR3.5 top 10 Plus

The all-time FR3.5 top 10

An era ended in 2015 as Renault withdrew its backing of Formula Renault 3.5. GLENN FREEMAN and PETER MILLS pick the 10 best drivers from the World Series by Renault years

Formula V8 3.5
Jan 8, 2016
The top 10 FR3.5 drivers of 2015 Plus

The top 10 FR3.5 drivers of 2015

The 2015 Formula Renault 3.5 season will be notable for being the last with the French company's backing but also produced a worthy champion in Oliver Rowland. PETER MILLS evaluates this year's crop of drivers

Formula V8 3.5
Nov 17, 2015
Renault's ladder to Formula 1 Plus

Renault's ladder to Formula 1

Since 2005 the World Series by Renault package has launched a host of young stars on the path to Formula 1. But there's much more to the events, both on and off the track

Formula V8 3.5
Aug 13, 2015
The top 10 FR3.5 drivers of 2014 Plus

The top 10 FR3.5 drivers of 2014

The field was perhaps not as strong as in the previous season, but Carlos Sainz Jr emerged as a worthy Formula Renault 3.5 champion. GLENN FREEMAN rates the top 2014 drivers

Formula V8 3.5
Nov 11, 2014
The top 10 FR3.5 drivers of 2013 Plus

The top 10 FR3.5 drivers of 2013

There were some standout performances in the Formula Renault 3.5 title race this year, but one racer stood above all the others. GLENN FREEMAN looks back and picks out his top 10 drivers

Formula V8 3.5
Nov 15, 2013
The 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 grid guide Plus

The 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 grid guide

Last year's field was extraordinary and hard to match, but the Formula Renault 3.5 grid will still have plenty of talent this season. Glenn Freeman runs through the field ahead of this weekend's season opener

Formula V8 3.5
Apr 4, 2013
Vandoorne: future McLaren F1 star? Plus

Vandoorne: future McLaren F1 star?

Landing the Fortec seat that took rising star Robin Frijns to the 2012 FR3.5 title was already a good sign for Stoffel Vandoorne. Then McLaren took him under its wing. Peter Mills tells Vandoorne's story so far

Formula V8 3.5
Feb 20, 2013