Maiden pole for Bailly on home soil

Benjamin Bailly claimed his maiden Formula 2 pole position on home soil at Zolder on Sunday morning

Maiden pole for Bailly on home soil

The 20-year-old, from just 50km south of the Belgian circuit, was already having the best weekend of his season so far after topping Friday practice and qualifying third on Saturday.

This morning, he was last in a string of five drivers to snatch the top spot with their all-important boost-assisted qualifying laps at the end of the half-hour session.

After the half-time switch to new rubber, Jack Clarke was first to set a really quick time. Then Philipp Eng, Sergei Afanasiev and Jolyon Palmer each bettered the benchmark time, before Bailly posted his 1m22.353s.

"I wished I could do pole yesterday, so it's a really great feeling to do it today, at home in front of everybody," said Bailly. "It was a good lap, I could feel it was clear without mistakes. Maybe it was not perfect, but still really good."

Clarke responded with his boosts to join Bailly on the front row, while Will Bratt jumped to fourth with his last effort. Just 0.168s covered the top five cars by the end.

Nicola de Marco and Dean Stoneman took sixth and seventh, leaving one-time provisional pole-sitter Eng down in eighth after he spun off at Turn 2 with four minutes to go.

Eng's spin and the resulting yellow flags deprived several drivers of their opportunity to use their boosts, including Mihai Marinescu and Kazim Vasiliauskas, who completed the top 10.

Pos Driver Time Gap Laps 1. Benjamin Bailly 1m22.353s 14 2. Jack Clarke 1m22.394s +0.041 14 3. Jolyon Palmer 1m22.444s +0.091 14 4. Will Bratt 1m22.504s +0.151 18 5. Sergei Afanasiev 1m22.521s +0.168 13 6. Nicola de Marco 1m22.567s +0.214 14 7. Dean Stoneman 1m22.731s +0.378 15 8. Philipp Eng 1m22.836s +0.483 14 9. Mihai Marinescu 1m23.236s +0.883 14 10. Kazim Vasiliauskas 1m23.276s +0.923 15 11. Ivan Samarin 1m23.490s +1.137 13 12. Kelvin Snoeks 1m23.516s +1.163 16 13. Benjamin Lariche 1m23.548s +1.195 13 14. Paul Rees 1m24.085s +1.732 16 15. Armaan Ebrahim 1m24.136s +1.783 16 16. Plamen Kralev 1m24.269s +1.916 14 17. Natalia Kowalska 1m24.282s +1.929 12 18. Parthiva Sureshwaren 1m24.686s +2.333 17 19. Ricardo Teixeira 1m24.967s +2.614 16 
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