Carlin Motorsport's Oliver Turvey snatched his maiden Formula Renault 3.5 pole position by virtue of a brilliant final lap in qualifying in Monaco
The Briton edged out Adrian Zaugg by just six hundredths of a second in a tense B qualifying group, having trailed the South African for much of the 25 minute session.
Spa winner James Walker headed the earlier A group to complete an all-British front row. With track conditions at the principality constantly improving, the P1 Motorsport driver was always going to be at a disadvantage to the B group runners today, but Walker maintains his record of qualifying on the front row for every 2009 round.
"To score my first pole in World Series at Monaco couldn't be better, I hadn't even been here until three days ago," said a delighted Turvey. "I really prepared hard for this race, though, and hoped we would be strong as I love street circuits. I didn't know what the margin to Zaugg was as I entered my last lap, but I could see that I was in P2 so just went for it."
Jersey driver Walker was equally satisfied with his effort.
"I had no communication on the radio at all," said Walker, "I just said 'leave me to it.' Every time I passed the pit board I could see that I was P1. It was nice to be the one pushing the pace. I actually did a better lap than the '27.4s which turned out to be '27.6s, so I knew then that my tyres were finished. The car is so good, if I can get a good start tomorrow I'll disappear."
Championship leader Marcos Martinez will line up in fourth spot, alongside Zaugg, after finishing second in the A group.
The A group's session was abandoned with two minutes remaining after debutant John Martin lost the rear of his Comtec car on the entry to the Swimming Pool, coming to rest embedded in the barriers. The Australian had been sixth in the group at the time of the incident.
Miguel Molina was an early pacesetter until a trip down the escape road at Mirabeau. He required assistance from marshals to continue and was subsequently unable to improve his time, leaving him fifth on the combined grid.
Pasquale di Sabatino will complete the top six. The Italian played himself in gently, but upped his pace to set the third-fastest time in the A group shortly before the appearance of the red flags.
With no Super Pole on the compressed Monaco schedule, among those to lose out to the premature stoppage in the A session was 2008 Monaco pole-sitter Charles Pic. His Tech 1 Racing team-mate Brendon Hartley was also expected to go well after setting the second fastest time in Thursday free practice, but the Kiwi's progress was stymied by deranged suspension sustained after brushing Monaco's unforgiving barriers on two occasions.
SG Formula's painful debut weekend continued. Former Formula 3 Masters victor Jules Bianchi will start in last place after his car's gearbox chose to select neutral when loaded up in fast corners.
Pos Driver Team Time 1. Oliver Turvey Carlin 1m26.657s 2. James Walker P1 1m27.495s 3. Adrian Zaugg Interwetten 1m26.714s 4. Marcos Martinez Pons 1m27.727s 5. Miguel Molina Ultimate 1m27.159s 6. Pasquale di Sabatino RC 1m27.883s 7. Bertrand Baguette Draco 1m27.487s 8. Adrian Valles Epsilon 1m27.992s 9. Chris van der Drift Epsilon 1m27.820s 10. Jaime Alguersuari Carlin 1m28.093s 11. Fairuz Fauzy Fortec 1m27.824s 12. John Martin Comtec 1m28.233s 13. Stefano Coletti Prema 1m27.906s 14. Charles Pic Tech 1 1m28.594s 15. Brendon Hartley Tech 1 1m27.974s 16. Marco Barba Draco 1m28.819s 17. Mihai Marinescu Interwetten 1m28.436s 18. Sten Pentus Fortec 1m29.107s 19. Filip Salaquarda RC 1m28.496s 20. Greg Mansell Ultimate 1m29.197s 21. Max Chilton Comtec 1m28.606s 22. Julian Leal Prema 1m29.526s 23. Daniil Move P1 1m28.617s 24. Anton Nebylitskiy SG 1m30.321s 25. Federico Leo Pons 1m28.818s 26. Jules Bianchi SG 1m32.942s
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