Hitech Racing's Marko Asmer will start round eight of the Lloyds TSB Insurance British Formula Three International Series from pole position after a stunning lap at Snetterton in Norfolk this afternoon. His rookie team-mate Austrian Walter Grubmuller struggled slightly, managing to take 15th place on the grid.

In the first session of the day, for round seven of the series, Asmer - suffering from severe hay fever and a cold -- could only manage sixth quickest time, with Grubmuller in 15th position.

The Silverstone-based team decided to stick with its set-up for the second session, believing that the time was there for a faster lap, which Asmer duly delivered midway through the session.

"We knew that the car was good enough for the front row in the first session and Marko agreed with us. It was just a case of him getting a clear lap and stringing everything together on it," said team boss, David Hayle.

"Walter was struggling to get back into a rhythm after Bucharest, but his data shows that he's quick where he needs to be. In the races he'll move forwards quickly," he added.

"I've not been feeling well all weekend and it's been hard to concentrate in the car," said Asmer. "The car wasn't as good as it normally is in testing yesterday, but we saw in the sector times in qualifying that it was quick enough for the front row, I was just unable to get a clear lap to get the time," he added.

"In the second session I got a good run though and the car was great, so I'm looking forward to race two tomorrow. The first race we will have to see what happens though," he added.

"I'm a little disappointed," said Grubmuller. "I had a red flag in the session when my tyres were at their best, which might have cost me a couple of tenths. But, I didn't get my entire sectors right on one lap, which I have to work on."

"I'm starting 15th in both races, so there's a chance to get some good points and that's what I'm aiming for tomorrow" he added.

-credit: hr