Saturday, August 04 2012
Britain's Jack Harvey will start from pole position for the first Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series race after edging Carlos Sainz Jnr in an incredibly close qualifying session at Snetterton.
The Carlin driver, who is second in the title race heading into this weekend's latest round, produced an impressive display at the Norfolk circuit to hold off all of his championship rivals to secure pole. However, he didn't have it all his own way and was pushed extremely hard by Sainz Jnr, Harry Tincknell, Jazeman Jaafar and Alex Lynn, with just 0.129 seconds separating the top four.
But it was another Carlin car that set the early pace with Malaysia's Jaafar going quickest early on, as the 16 strong field adjusted to the hotter track conditions from Friday's test session. His provisional pole didn't last long as team mate Harvey found his rhythm to move to the top of the timing screens with an impressive time 1.41.367s.
No sooner had Harvey lit up the timing screens, Essex racer Alex Lynn, who was quickest in Friday's test, grabbed second spot just four tenths adrift of pole. Positions continued to change up and down the field with Tincknell securing second, shaving a tenth off of the deficit to pole. The top nine were covered by just a second which epitomised how closely fought the fight for pole would be as the time ticked ever closer to the chequered flag.
As the session reached the halfway stage, the majority of the field headed into the pits to make changes to the cars to adjust to the ever changing track conditions. Once the action on track resumed, Tincknell was the first to strike moving to within a tenth of Harvey's provisional pole time with Jaafar in third.
With just 0.041 seconds the gap between the top two, Harvey could not afford to relax and he subsequently went even quicker by setting a 1.41.170s. Sainz Jnr burst on to the scene with a late challenge in the final few minutes, but his effort was just 11 thousandths of a second slower than Harvey.
Lynn thought he had a shot at snatching pole too along with championship leader Felix Serralles, but they both fell short by a tenth of a second to claim third and fourth on row two. After showing signs of great speed Tincknell and Jaafar were forced to settle with fifth and sixth to line up on row three. Adderly Fong was the quickest runner in the National Class setting a time just three thousandths of a second quicker than Pedro Pablo Calbimonte.
The first of three Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series races at Snetterton begins at 15:15pm.
Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series Qualifying Top 10
1. Jack Harvey, Carlin, 1.41.170s
2. Carlos Sainz Jnr, Carlin, +0.011s
3. Alex Lynn, Fortec, +0.125s
4. Felix Serralles, Fortec, +0.129s
5. Harry Tincknell, Carlin, +0.238s
6. Jazeman Jaafar, Carlin, +0.277s
7. Pipo Derani, Fortec, +0.559s
8. Pietro Fantin, Carlin, +0.760s
9. Hannes Van Asseldonk +0.932s
10. Geoff Uhrhane, Double R, +1.237s