Oakes on Top in Rain Hit Qualifying Invitation Class driver Oliver Oakes claimed overall pole position in a rain hit session that saw the drivers head out on the track for the first part of the 30-minute qualifying period before switching to ...
Oakes on Top in Rain Hit Qualifying
Invitation Class driver Oliver Oakes claimed overall pole position in a rain hit session that saw the drivers head out on the track for the first part of the 30-minute qualifying period before switching to slicks as the rain came down harder. Oakes made the best use of his Avon slicks, with Jaime Alguersuari in second and Sergio Perez in third. Championship contenders Brendon Hartley and Oliver Turvey could only manage 6th and 14th respectively effectively putting Round 21 pole position holder Alguersuari on the front foot in the title battle tomorrow. Jay Bridger took his second class pole of the day in 7th overall, one place higher than Columbian Steven Guerrero.
With light rain drizzling on the track all twenty four cars made their way out onto the track at the start of the session, many gambling on slick tyres trying to set a good time before the conditions forced a switch to wets. Atte Mustonen was the early leader with a 1m18.554 in th etricky conditions but it was Sergio Perez who found the grip and posted a 1m14.641 followed by a 1m12.287 on successive laps. Jaime Alguersuari also went second quickest with a 1m13.554 before he and Perez were demoted by Dean Smith.
The rain was coming down harder as the clock ticked down to 21 minutes to do and it was Perez who managed to find more speed posting a 1m10.063 but was followed by Alguersuari with a 1m09.931 but they were once again both pushed off the top spot, this time by Oli Oakes in the Invitation Class Eurotek Dallara.
Meanwhile both Brendon Hartley and Oliver Turvey were languishing near the back as they came in for wet tyres to see if they could improve their position as the clock counted down. Hartley steadily improved up the order to 6th but Turvey was struggling in the tricky conditions and only managed to reach 14th by the time the chequered flag came out.
Jay Bridger had also revelled in the conditions and posted the 7th fastest time overall before the end of the 30-minute session. The clock counted down and the last lap was covered by yellows after Stefan Wilson went off at the Old Hairpin but the grid was set with Oli Oakes at the front of the field and Jaime Alguersuari on the front row and well ahead of his championship rivals.
With the weather forecast for raceday looking dry, Oliver Turvey knows the title advantage has shifted to his Spanish rival and knows he will have to beat him in the opening race to make sure he can hold him off in the second to lift the 2008 crown. Race day looks like it will be all to play for between the three rivals for the 2008 British F3 International Series title.