Duran takes first pole at Barcelona

Salvador Duran has taken his first World Series by Renault pole position at Barcelona. The Mexican Interwetten.com driver mastered the wet conditions, qualifying nearly a second faster in his group than Estoril winner Miguel Molina

Duran takes first pole at Barcelona

Alvaro Parente demonstrated equal authority to dominate the earlier A group, and by securing a place on the front row extends his championship lead over Ben Hanley to 26 points, with just 31 available.

Hanley's title chances in the Spanish finale appear bleak, as the Englishman could only manage a slot on the eighth row.

Milos Pavlovic entered the meeting with an outside chance of lifting the crown, and despite qualifying being the Serbian's usual weak spot, will start from fourth.

Duran has not featured at the sharp end of the grid since finishing on the podium at Spa-Francorchamps in August.

"I can't believe it to be honest," he said. "Yesterday I was really unhappy, the car was impossible to drive. It is the same problem we have had since Donington. We made a big change and everything became easier, but I was expecting to be, maybe, fifth on the grid, not on pole by a second.

"In the race Parente can't do anything stupid because of the championship, but I have a big responsibility also. My career will depend a lot on this race so I am going to be careful."

Parente felt there had been even more time in his Tech 1 car.

"I made a little mistake at the hairpin at the back of the circuit," he said, "and when I saw how much quicker we were than the rest I decided to push but not in an exaggerated way.

"We think we have fixed an engine problem from Friday, but when you run in the wet you are never running at the maximum, so we'll see."

The Carlin Motorsport pairing of Mikhail Aleshin and Robert Wickens will line up on the third row. Wickens repeated his impressive wet form from Friday practice, the Canadian snatching third in group away from Alvaro Barba on his last lap.

Former Spyker test driver Giorgio Mondini starts 26th in Eurointernational's swansong in the Renault World Series. Mondini, who now works in a bank in Lugano, Switzerland, was drafted in as a replacement for Alessandro Ciompi, who is recovering from an injury sustained in training.

Pos Driver Team Time 1. Salvador Duran Interwetten.com 1:53.494 2. Alvaro Parente Tech 1 Racing 1:53.734 + 0.240 3. Miguel Molina Pons Racing 1:54.422 + 0.928 4. Milos Pavlovic International Draco 1:54.458 + 0.964 5. Mikhail Aleshin Carlin Motorsport 1:54.534 + 1.040 6. Robert Wickens Carlin Motorsport 1:55.470 + 1.976 7. Giedo van der Garde Victory Engineering 1:54.565 + 1.071 8. Alvaro Barba International Draco 1:55.713 + 2.219 9. Guillaume Moreau KTR 1:54.716 + 1.222 10. Bertrand Baguette KTR 1:55.801 + 2.307 11. Alejandro Nunez Comtec 1:54.816 + 1.322 12. Davide Valsecchi Epsilon Euskadi 1:55.837 + 2.343 13. Felipe Albuquerque Epsilon Euskadi 1:55.106 + 1.612 14. Frederic Vervisch GD Racing 1:55.977 + 2.483 15. Benjamin Hanley Prema Powerteam 1:55.272 + 1.778 16. Carlos Iaconelli Pons Racing 1:56.378 + 2.884 17. Richard Philippe Fortec Motorsport 1:55.508 + 2.014 18. Marco Bonanomi RC Motorsport 1:56.473 + 2.979 19. Pippa Mann Cram Competition 1:56.311 + 2.817 20. Fairuz Fauzy Cram Competition 1:56.506 + 3.012 21. Pasquale Di Sabatino GD Racing 1:56.775 + 3.281 22. Michael Herck Comtec 1:56.535 + 3.041 23. James Walker Fortec Motorsport 1:56.880 + 3.386 24. Julien Jousse Tech 1 Racing 1:56.536 + 3.042 25. Xavier Maassen Prema Powerteam 1:57.614 + 4.120 26. Giorgio Mondini EuroInternational 1:58.019 + 4.525 27. Alberto Valerio Victory Engineering 1:57.903 + 4.409 28. Clivio Piccione RC Motorsport 1:58.108 + 4.614 29. Julian Theobald EuroInternational 1:59.625 + 6.131 30. Daniel Move Interwetten.com 1:58.915 + 5.421 

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