Bernoldi takes first F3000 pole

Enrique Bernoldi will start from pole position for the first time in his Formula 3000 career at Barcelona today

Bernoldi takes first F3000 pole

The Red Bull Junior team driver was fastest by nearly 0.2s, an impressive margin in F3000 terms.

Meanwhile Mario Haberfeld, the man who beat Bernoldi to the 1998 British Formula Three title in an epic late-season battle, suffered a nasty crash, spinning into the path of Nicolas Minassian and Andrea Piccini (see separate story.)

Williams test driver Bruno Junqueira was second fastest for the Petrobras Junior team.

"I didn't push hard enough during the first session because I thought the second session would be quicker, but it wasn't," said Junqueira. "But second place is a good position and tomorrow I'm looking to get my first win of the year."

Tomas Enge qualified third, the highest either of the McLaren junior cars have been all season, but his team-mate Stephane Sarrazin again struggled and was only 15th.

Super Nova duo David Saelens and Nicolas Minassian will start fourth and fifth, despite the latter's monocoque being destroyed in the Haberfeld accident. The team was planning to work through the night to build up a new car.

Current points leader Mark Webber was only 17th.

"We should have done better today," said Webber. "We simply couldn't get any grip into the front of the car.

"We made some changes in between the two sessions, but it didn't improve things. I don't really understand it and we're going to check everything overnight to see if we can find the problem.

"It's going be a long, hard race for sure."

Haberfeld's accident means Russian driver Viktor Maslov will be allowed onto the grid in 26th place.

Hidetoshi Matsusada held onto his WRT drive despite suggestions that a cash shortfall would allow the team to replace him with reigning British F3 champion Marc Hynes, but the Japanese driver failed to qualify.

Astromega's Fabrice Walfisch will also miss the race after crashing early in the qualifying session.

Grid positions from Barcelona:

1 E Bernoldi Red Bull Jr 1m33.280s
2 B Junqueira Petrobras Jr 1m33.434s
3 T Enge McLaren Jr 1m33.439s
4 D Saelens Super Nova 1m33.473s
5 N Minassian Super Nova 1m33.876s
6 S Ayari Coloni 1m33.881s
7 M Haberfeld* Fortec 1m33.884s
8 J van Hooydonk KTR 1m33.946s
9 K McGarrity Nordic 1m34.054s
10 F Montagny DAMS 1m34.056s
11 J Wilson Nordic 1m34.206s
12 J Melo Petrobras Jr 1m34.219s
13 R Mauricio Red Bull Jr 1m34.242s
14 B Leinders KJR 1m34.329s
15 S Sarrazin McLaren Jr 1m34.405s
16 S Bourdais Gauloises Jr 1m34.455s
17 M Webber European Arrows 1m34.460s
18 F Alonso Astromega 1m34.633s
19 A Couto Gauloises Jr 1m34.669s
20 D Manning Arden 1m34.744s
21 K Kolby DAMS 1m34.831s
22 C Albers European Arrows 1m34.856s
23 A Piccini KJR 1m35.029s
24 A Mikola WRT 1m35.336s
25 F Gollin Coloni 1m35.552s
26 Y Olivier KTR 1m35.723s
27 V Maslov Arden 1m35.727s

will not start- injured in qualifying accident

Non-qualifiers:

28 A Scheld Fortec 1m35.923s
29 H Matsusada WRT 1m36.216s
30 F Walfisch Astromega no time

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