Piquet in control at Spa with pole position
Nelson Piquet Jr claimed pole position for round 21of the Avon Tyres British Formula Three Championship at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. The Brazilian topped the timing screens for most of the 45-minute session, before trading times with Adam Carroll in the closing minutes.
The session was halted after the first five minutes when Scholarship Class driver Stephen Jelley had a huge accident on the exit of the top of Eau Rouge. Although he was uninjured, the car was very badly damaged. The Performance Racing team will try and fix the car for the first race later this afternoon.
"I'm okay, but it was a big accident," said Jelley. "I tried to take Eau Rouge flat out on the third lap but the track wasn't quite dry enough and it caught me out. The team is going to try and get the car fixed but we don't know if we can get it finished in time for the race this afternoon," he added
As the session went live once again it was James Rossiter who immediately set the quickest time. However, lack of track knowledge on his first visit to the venue and a problem with understeer meant that he tumbled down the order. A late lap moved him up to seventh place.
Carroll also struggled to get up to front running pace in the early part of the session. He went second fastest before having to trade times with invitational class driver Nicolas Lapierre in the last handful of laps. Third on the grid keeps him ahead of Rossiter and close enough to Piquet to stay in the hunt for the championship.
Clivio Piccione took fourth on the grid ahead of Danny Watts in the Promatecme F3 Lola-Dome. The Lola looked like threatening Piquet at the top of the times for a short while before being knocked back to fifth place.
Fairuz Fauzy put in a handful of quick laps at the end of the session. However, he was caught out in the final minutes as a flurry of quick laps mean that he will start from sixth, just ahead of Rossiter.
Ryan Lewis took the Scholarship Class pole. However, he struggled to find the pace he wanted to challenge the championship class cars.
"I'm disappointed to tell the truth, even though I got pole," said Lewis. "I really wanted to get in amongst the championship cars but I made a few mistakes myself and think that it may have damaged the engine in the process. Even though I've got the championship tied up now I want to take pole and win all of the remaining races," he added.