The World Series by Renault cars are split into two separate 15-minute qualifying sessions to limit the problem of traffic ruining hot laps. Victory Engineering's Enrico Toccacelo was fastest of the second batch of runners that ran after Winkelhock's session and under the previous system the Italian would have automatically lined up on the front row. However, under the new system he starts third behind Gommendy.
Team officials requested that in cases where the average of the five fastest times of each session are within 0.3 per cent of the fastest time, then the grid would just be determined on overall qualifying times regardless of which session they were set in.
The average of both sessions for the first race in France were within 0.3 per cent, and therefore the grid positions were decided by the actual times the drivers. As Gommendy set a faster time than Toccacelo, the Frenchman will get to start on the front row.
"This is bad for me; I should have started on the front row," Toccacelo said. "I was fastest in my session and for that I believe I should get a front row start. There were yellow flags in my session and it was hard to get a good time."
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