Last man out Van Hooydonk grabs pole

It was a case of last man out gets the pole in qualifying for Formula 3000 at the A1-Ring. With the track drying by the second, Jeffrey van Hooydonk was the final driver past the chequered flag and took a surprise pole, ahead of David Saelens and Mark Webber

Last man out Van Hooydonk grabs pole

The final few minutes were frantic: Soheil Ayari had been on pole with five minutes to go, but finished the session 13th, such was the rate of improvement of the track conditions. Britain's Darren Manning was one of the many drivers who briefly held pole in those final moments, but finally sank to seventh.

Van Hooydonk conceded that luck played it's part, but argued that after the bad luck he's suffered so far this season, it was time for some good luck.

"I took quite a gamble," he said. "I think I was the last one out there. I pushed like hell, took some risks and it paid off."

With rain falling again after the session, the Belgian professed to being happy if it rained for tomorrow's race.

"We have a good set-up for the wet," he smiled, "and I like driving in the rain."

Saelens made it an all-Belgian front row, but disagreed that timing had been everything: "I had to concentrate to stay out on the track - the line and braking points were changing every lap. But I don't believe it was just luck, because everyone had the same conditions and anyway, I went out early...'

McLaren Junior Team debutant Tomas Scheckter put in an impressive first qualifying, lining up 19th on the grid, ahead of points-leader Bruno Junqueira, who complained of being baulked by Kevin McGarrity.

McGarrity was among the non-qualifiers, joining four-in-a-row DNQ man Kristian Kolby and F3000 returnee Dino Morelli.



1 Jeffrey van Hooydonk, 1m33.336s
2 David Saelens, 1m33.529s
3 Mark Webber, 1m33.776s
4 Nicolas Minassian, 1m33.815s
5 Jaime Melo, 1m34.214s
6 Christijan Albers, 1m34.269s
7 Darren Manning, 1m34.333s
8 Franck Montagny, 1m34.604s
9 Sebastien Bourdais, 1m34.771s
10 Tomas Enge, 1m34.829s
11 Justin Wilson, 1m35.134s
12 Ricardo Mauricio, 1m35.283s
13 Soheil Ayari, 1m35.419s
14 Marc Goossens, 1m35.450s
15 Fernando Alonzo, 1m35.716s
16 Enrique Bernoldi, 1m35.825s
17 Bas Leinders, 1m35.834s
18 Andre Couto, 1m35.899s
19 Tomas Scheckter, 1m36.084s
20 Bruno Junqueira, 1m36.121s
21 Viktor Maslov, 1m36.123s
22 Ananda Mikola, 1m36.312s
23 Mario Haberfeld, 1m36.556s
24 Andreas Scheld, 1m36.691s
25 Yves Oliver, 1m36.904s
26 Andrea Piccini, 1m37.576s

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