Qual 2: Wirdheim seals first pole

Swede Bjorn Wirdheim, who has yet to win a F3000 race with the front-running Arden International team, will start Saturday's championship finale from pole position

Qual 2: Wirdheim seals first pole

However, all attention was focused on the three-way battle for the championship, specifically Czech Tomas Enge, who tested positive for a banned substance at the previous round. Enge set the third fastest time overall, slipping back one place from his first session mark, and was delighted to perform so well despite his off-track problems.

"It has been a long week and I feel so tired, I've feels as though I've got no energy," said Enge, who is also suffering from a cold. "I gave 100 percent today and although I know I could have gone quicker, by how much is questionable. I'm really happy with third because I could so easily have been 10th, or even 15th."

Main rival Sebastien Bourdais will start only seventh after failing to improve on his first session time despite an all-out attempt late in the session.

Giorgio Pantano, who need to repeat his 2001 victory if he is to have any chance of taking the title, will start alongside Wirdheim on the front row after improving early in the session.

"Second place is good, but we'll have to see what happens in the race," said the Italian. "I'll have to go all out for victory, and it will be very difficult, but I will do my best."

Rob Nguyen will start fourth after putting in his fastest time with seven minutes of the session remaining, continuing his fine form which saw him set the fastest time in testing.

Pre-season title tip Antonio Pizzonia starts fifth after stopping on the circuit with a mechanical failure half-way through the session, with former British F3 championship Mario Haberfeld rounding out the top six.

Briton Justin Keen, who recently returned to the series with European Minardi, will start 20th and last on the grid.


Bjorn Wirdheim (Arden International), 1m37.857s
Giorgio Pantano (Coloni), 1m38.032s
Tomas Enge (Arden International), 1m38.098s
Rob Nguyen (Team Astromega), 1m38.222s
Antonio Pizzonia (Petrobras Junior), 1m38.339s
Mario Haberfeld (Team Astromega), 1m38.434s
Sebastien Bourdais (Super Nova Racing), 1m38.438s
Ricardo Sperafico (Petrobras Junior), 1m38.473s
Enrico Toccacello (Coloni), 1m38.564s
Derek Hill (Durango Formula), 1m38.763s
Rodrigo Sperafico (Durango Formula), 1m38.831s
Ricardo Mauricio (Red Bull Junior), 1m38.833s
Tony Schmidt (PSM Racing Line), 1m38.891s
Nicolas Kiesa (PSM Racing Line), 1m38.833s
Patrick Friesacher (Red Bull Junior), 1m39.111s
Tiago Monteiro (Super Nova Racing), 1m39.114s
Zsolt Baumgartner (Nordic Racing), 1m39.406s
Thed Bjork (Nordic Racing), 1m39.809s
Kristian Kolby (European Minardi), 1m39.890s
Justin Keen (European Minardi), 1m39.963s

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