Junqueira has upper hand after qualifying

Bruno Junqueira moved one step further towards taking the Formula 3000 International Championship by out-qualifying his title rival Nicolas Minassian in today's qualifying sessons.

Junqueira has upper hand after qualifying

Spanish ace Fernando Alonso took his first career pole, and it was an Astromega front row as Belgian Marc Goossens banged in a late lap to go second, only eight hundredths from pole. Third place went to Junqueira, who will be relieved, having languished down in fifth behind Minassian after the first session and spinning midway through the second session.

Conversely, Frenchman Nicolas Minassian will be ruing a missed opportunity, having dropped from a provisional second to eighth. To take the title, Minassian must win, with Junqueira fourth or lower - his chances now must surely be slim.

Continuing his rise to form was Ricardo Mauricio, who clocked third fastest time, on the back of taking a podium position in the last round in Hungary. Despite topping the timesheets early on, Belgian David Saelens could only manage fifth.

Midway through the first session, Russian driver Viktor Maslov tried to take the Bus Stop chicane too quickly and understeered into the wall on the outside. Despite there being little damage, his car took a short while to clear and the resulting yellow flags spoiled the laps of a number of drivers.

Bas Leinders suffered a heavy shunt in session two which caused the first of two stoppages. McLaren Jr driver Tomas Enge then spun off at Eau Rouge, but luckily managed to avoid the wall.

British hopes lie with Justin Wilson, who qualified in sixth place, with his fellow Brits struggling. Darren Manning took 21st, substitute driver Jamie Davies 23rd and Kevin McGarrity failed to qualify.

Full qualifying results to follow shortly.

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