Piquet takes first pole position at Oulton Park
Nelson Piquet Jr took pole position for round 15 of the Avon Tyres British Formula Three Championship this morning, beating Malaysian driver Fairuz Fauzy by just seven thousandths of a second. Ryan Lewis stunned his rivals in the Scholarship Class and most of the Championship Class grid by snatching third place overall in the closing minutes of the session.
Piquet took his first pole position of the season in incredibly wet conditions as his chief championship rivals struggled. Joint leader with the Brazilian, Adam Carroll, ended the session down in ninth place. Fellow Briton James Rossiter will line up fifth in the opening race of the weekend.
Alvaro Parente continued his good form from Donington Park to take fourth place, less than a tenth of a second ahead of Rossiter. Lucas Di Grassi had traded times at the top of the timing screens early in the session, but had to settle for sixth.
Ryan Lewis had set out to get in amongst the Championship Class cars this weekend and his pace and the wet conditions allowed him to blitz the rest of the Scholarship Class.
A late lap put the T-Sport Dallara third overall on the grid and a surprised Lewis was almost speechless after the session.
"I really don't know exactly what I did to get that time," said Lewis. "The car felt really good around the back part of the circuit and I picked up a lot of time through that section of the track. I'll definitely be looking at the data later and try and do the same again this afternoon," he added.
Stephen Jelley took second on the grid, but was almost four seconds away from Lewis' flying lap. Ronayne O'Mahony took third place with Frenchman Vasilije Calasan fourth.
Avon Tyres British Formula Three Championship -- Round 15 Overall Qualifying Times:
1 Nelson Piquet Jr Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda 1m43.671s 2 Fairuz Fauzy Dallara F304 Mugen Honda 1m43.678s 3 Ryan Lewis (S) Dallara F301 Mugen-Honda 1m43.805s 4 Alvaro Parente Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda 1m43.826s 5 James Rossiter Dallara F304 Opel Spiess 1m43.877s 6 Lucas Di Grassi Dallara F304 Renault-Sodemo 1m43.931s