McLaren Juniors grab front row

The McLaren Junior team has taken a front-row lock-out in qualifying at Hockenheim

McLaren Juniors grab front row

Tomas Enge will start from his first Formula 3000 pole position, joined by team-mate Tomas Scheckter, the latter making only his second start in the FIA series.

Mark Webber, Sebastian Bourdais and Jeffrey van Hooydonk complete the top five after a session rendered chaotic by the atrocious weather at Hockenheim.

The afternoon downpour meant that the session, due to start at 3pm local time, eventually began nearly four hours behind scheduled. The second 45-minute session was cancelled, so it would all be down to the first practice period.

The track was very wet at the start but dried throughout the session before a sudden rain shower 12 minutes from the end brought the red flags out.

Enge had been the pacesetter almost throughout, with Scheckter leaping onto the front row with a perfectly timed final lap. He was the last man to set a time before the rain started to fall again, so benefited from putting in his fast lap exactly when the conditions were at their best.

Unsurprisingly, the conditions caught out several drivers. Ananda Mikola and Nicolas Minassian both stopped on course with mechanical problems, while Bas Leinders, Darren Manning, Christian Albers, Ricardo Mauricio, Viktor Malov and David Saelens all beached themselves in the gravel.

Then when the rain came out again, Sebastian Bourdais was caught out and crashed at high-speed in turn one. With Bruno Junqueira copying his example mere seconds later, the decision to red flag the session was a sensible one.

The field was down to 29 cars after Soheil Ayari quit the Coloni team just before the meeting. He had been offered a drive at WRT in place of Dino Morelli, but the deal hit an unknown hitch and the Irishman kept the seat while Ayari returned to France without a drive. Morelli made the most of his chance to qualify tenth, by far WRT's best position of the season.

The problems for title contenders Junqueira and Minassian left them only 12th and 13th on the grid respectively. With more weather chaos expected tomorrow, what will happen in the race is anyone's guess.



1 Tomas Enge McLaren 2m11.990s
2 Tomas Scheckter McLaren 2m12.250s
3 Mark Webber European 2m12.261s
4 Sebastian Bourdais Gauloises 2m12.309s
5 Jeffrey van Hooydonk KTR 2m12.574s
6 Fernando Alonso Astromega 2m12.758s
7 Andrea Piccini KJR 2m13.081s
8 Enrique Bernoldi Red Bull Jr 2m13.296s
9 Franck Montagny DAMS 2m13.423s
10 Dino Morelli WRT 2m13.512s
11 David Saelens Super Nova 2m13.620s
12 Bruno Junqueira Petrobras 2m13.623s
13 Nicolas Minassian Super Nova 2m13.725s
14 Marc Goossens Astromega 2m13.934s
15 Fabrizio Gollin Coloni 2m13.987s
16 Andre Couto Gauloises 2m13.989s
17 Kristian Kolby DAMS 2m14.302s
18 Mario Haberfeld Fortec 2m14.687s
19 Kevin McGarrity Nordic 2m14.775s
20 Jaime Melo Petrobras 2m14.838s

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