Piccione takes pole as Carroll struggles at Brands
Clivio Piccione played a cool, calm and collected waiting game before taking pole position for the final round of the Avon Tyres British Formula Three Championship at Brands Hatch this afternoon. Nelson Piquet Jr will line up alongside the Carlin Motorsport driver as Adam Carroll struggled to find form, taking tenth place on the grid.
Piccione had decided to wait in the pit-lane for the first half of the 25-minute session as the rest of the F3 field charged out to set a time. Piquet once again found form and was at the head of the timing screens with Carroll down in ninth.
The Northern Irishman came into the pits and bolted on new tyres in an attempt to get onto terms with Piquet and immediately jumped to sixth on the grid. James Rossiter also tried new rubber and was able to stay at the sharp end of the grid in third place.
Lucas Di Grassi demoted the Fortec Motorsport driver to fourth before the end of the session after Piccione had stamped his authority on the Brands Hatch Indy track. He only required half the amount of laps the other front runners used to claim the top spot. A late session red flag for Andrew Thompson, who had spun into the gravel at Druids meant that a final four minute window was available to try and improve times. However, a cooling track and cold tyres meant that nobody was able to lower the lap-times.
"I was pretty sure that I would get a good run straight away once I got onto the circuit so we played it really cool at the beginning," said Piccione. "The track was very dusty and dirty at the start of the session, after the oil went down in the GT qualifying session. I just decided to hold back and let the rest of them clear some of it away," he added.
Danny Watts put the Lola-Dome fifth on the grid, just unable to break onto the front row. Alvaro Parente tried to better his sixth place times in the final minutes of the session but had to settle for a third row starting position.
Ryan Lewis took the final Scholarship Class pole position as chief 2004 rival Stephen Jelley struggled to match his first session pace. Ronayne O'Mahony made up for his problems in the first session to post the second fastest time as Jelley had to settle for third.