Qualifying: Pantano claims pole

Giorgio Pantano claimed pole position for the International Formula 3000 race at Magny-Cours, with a late flying lap enough to deny championship leader Bjorn Wirdheim by just 0.045s

Qualifying: Pantano claims pole

In contrast to the mixed-weather fun in the earlier Formula 1 qualifying, the F3000 session remained warm and sunny throughout, although the earlier rain meant that track lacked grip at the start of the session.

"I got pole at the end of the session because today, due to the bad weather conditions, the F1 cars didn't leave their rubber on the track," said Pantano. "Today my car was perfectly balanced. Tomorrow I will start from the first place and I will do my best to score as many points as I can."

Jaroslav Janis qualified an impressive third for the ISR Charouz team, ahead of Coloni driver Ricardo Sperafico. Vitantonio Liuzzi ended in fifth position, followed by Tony Schmidt and Yannick Schroeder.

One of the series' major teams struggled badly, however. The Jordan Grand Prix Junior team could only manage 13th and 14th positions with drivers Derek Hill and Enrico Toccacelo, and was at a loss to explain its struggles.

Hill said: "It's frustrating when the car has a good feeling to it but with the times being off, we will be studying the data very hard and looking for solutions that will hopefully give us a chance to fight for points in the race."

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